Below the Surface

By Allison Finley


Publisher Orca Book Publishers Imprint Orca ISBN


Below the Surface

In stock

In this high-interest accessible novel for middle-grade readers, thirteen-year-old Theo finds a pocket watch linked to a local legend about a lost treasure.

A thirteen-year-old boy finds a pocket watch linked to a local legend about a lost treasure.

Theo is happy spending his summer searching the river for treasure. Even if he mostly just finds empty cans and fishing lures. But when he discovers a pocket watch in the waters beneath a bridge that's said to be haunted, he is sure his luck has changed. Theo soon learns that the pocket watch is linked to a local legend about a ghost and buried treasure. Theo is determined to solve this mystery and posts his progress online. Even after he receives an anonymous threat telling him to leave things alone, Theo continues to dig deeper. He learns that the death of a traveler decades earlier may not have been an accident. And that there’s someone out there who will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

More Information

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-7-Thirteen-year-old Theo's favorite hobby is treasure hunting and returning stuff to their rightful owners. When his hunting exploits uncover an old pocket watch that's been buried for 60 years, he posts it on his social media. As a result, a threatening comment tells him to return the watch or else. Soon, Theo is deeply embroiled in solving an old ghost story. With his friend Syd, the two start poring over old newspapers and contacting a possible descendant of a young traveler who mysteriously died in 1967. How do the pocket watch, traveler, and mysterious comment tie together? The plot is engaging and full of twists and turns. Characters are fairly well developed and realistic. Interactions with other characters help bring Theo's world to life. The writing style complements the story well and adeptly brings the mystery together. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters are cued as white. The book is written at a third grade reading level. VERDICT Reluctant readers interested in mystery, treasure hunting, and ghost stories will want to pick this one up. Recommended for library collections where ghost stories and mysteries are popular.-Kira Moodyα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Hi-Lo PG Middle/High (Grades 6-12)

Hi-Lo PG Middle/High

Hi-Lo PG Middle/High (Grades 6-12)

For Grades 6-12

Entertaining, age-appropriate topics combined with short chapters and simple sentences make the 12 books in this category interesting and accessible to teens who struggle to read. For middle and high school students who prefer titles without edgy content.

12 books per Year
$175.08 per Year

Chapter Books/Novels, ESL, Fiction, Reluctant Readers, Transitional Readers, Realistic Fiction

Like this book? Get more like this every month.