The Treasure Box by Margaret Wild

Published by Candlewick Press

Summary:  “When the enemy bombed the library, everything burned.”  So begins the story, a boy forced to leave his home and flee with his family to another city far away.  His father brings along a book he had borrowed from the library, one that he had read many times and that he told Peter is “about our people, about us.”  His father protects this treasure as they travel, and when he dies, Peter carries it as far as he can, then buries it beneath a tree.  He moves to a new country, grows up, and eventually returns to his now-peaceful homeland, where he finds the tree, digs up the book, and takes it back to his village.  A new library has been built, and Peter places his father’s book back on the shelf to be loved by generations to come.  40 pages; grades 2-5.

Pros:  A timeless story about people preserving what’s of value to them, even in the most difficult times.  The beautiful watercolor and collage illustrations change from grays and browns to bright colors as Peter’s life becomes easier and his world turns into a brighter place.

Cons:  I think the cataloging on the old book would have to be updated before Peter sticks it back on the library shelf.

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