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Summary: Hayley, Alex, and Spence — who are best friends — decide to spend their first summer weekend hiking and camping at Silvertop Mountain, high in the Cascades. With a treasure map left by her archaeologist grandfather, Hayley and friends are determined to find the mysterious and powerful Azura Stones. They don’t know it, but they're situation is truly ominous. They are being followed by criminals who intend to do whatever it takes to find and steal the stones. Their lives and safety are in serious jeopardy. This is an adventure mystery for teens.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, advanced reader
Recommended Age: read together: 10 to 12; read yourself: 11 to 14
Interest Level: 10 to 14
Age of Child: Read by student at Woodside Magnet High School for Arts and Communication (Newport News, VA)
Young Reader Reaction: I liked this book because of its mystery and suspense. After reading the first chapter, I wanted more. My thoughts about the book changed after the first chapter. I would by this book. It is full of suspense.
Adult Reader Reaction: Helen Bailie's book is as good as any adolescent mystery writer I have read (Budbill, Adams, Oliver, Burkhard, et al). I hope she continues to write for this audience. She does it well. It is an enjoyable and exciting read. The story is wholesome, the characters are real, and the plot is engaging.
Pros: The author has written an engaging story that will get rave reviews from its intended audience. Adolescent readers will find it difficult to put it down and certainly read it more than once or twice
Cons: There are no serious issues with this book. It is an excellent “first novel.”
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Buy if your child likes to read mysteries and suspense stories. The Azura Stones will more than fill the bill, as it engages the reader immediately. Hayley, Alex, and Spence take the reader on an unforgettable adventure in the Cascades.
Educational Themes: This is an excellent piece of adolescent fiction. Teachers and parents looking for ways to positively influence adolescents will find lots of things to talk about in this book. This book is the jewel that outshines all other gems in the jewelry box.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, mystery/suspense, fantasy, young adult
Date(s) Reviewed: August 2007, June 2008
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