A Boy Called Duct Tape: Book Review

A Boy Called Duct Tape
Author: Christopher Cloud
Published April 2012
Available on Amazon

Pablo Perez is a 12-year-old poor kid without much going for him. His classmates have dubbed him “Duct Tape” because his tattered discount-store sneakers are held together with…you guessed it, duct tape. He can’t escape the bullying. Pablo’s luck, however, changes after he finds a $20 gold coin while swimming in a river near his home. Pablo later buys a $1 treasure map at the county fair. The map shows the route to the “lost treasure” of Jesse James. Pablo can’t help but wonder: Is there a link between the map and the gold coin? He is determined to find out, and he, his 9-year-old sister and 13-year-old cousin hire an ill-mannered cave guide, and begin a treacherous underground adventure in search of treasure.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: Pablo Perez faces a boring summer until he discovers a gold coin at the bottom of a river while swimming with his sister, Pia. When their coin is stolen by the Blood Brothers, Pablo is convinced more coins exist. In fact, he believes the coin is just a sample of Jesse James' treasure rumored to be buried somewhere nearby. Armed with his sister, his cousin Kiki, and a treasure map from the county fair, he enlists the help of Monroe Huff, a notorious cave explorer. Can they discover the treasure before the Blood Brothers catch up with them? Or, will the dangers Mother Cave has to offer be too much for them to overcome?

As a mom (and a lover of YA adventure stories), I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone age nine and up. The author combines history, geographical descriptions, and adventure. Kids will learn tons about Jesse James, spelunking, and geology without realizing it. They'll also find heroes they can root for, discover the power of friendship, and learn about what true bravery and self-acceptance means. If you're on a mission to find a book your finicky middle-schooler will read, buy this book for your son or daughter. If you're an adult who like a good adventure story, buy it for yourself. I loved it and would give more than five stars if I could.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars