The most recommended treasure books

Who picked these books? Meet our 64 experts.

64 authors created a book list connected to treasure, and here are their favorite treasure books.
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What type of treasure book?


The Parker Inheritance

By Varian Johnson,

Book cover of The Parker Inheritance

Katherine Marsh Author Of The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine

From the list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers.

Who am I?

Not only have I written six critically acclaimed novels for middle-grade readers, including three historical fictions, I am the parent of a tween and teen who is always looking for great read-alouds and read-alongs for my own family. I am a firm believer that this is a valuable way to encourage literacy and love of story as I wrote in a recent, much-discussed essay in The Atlantic. Having lived abroad, including as an exchange student and camper in the Soviet Union and for three years in Belgium, I am also a huge believer in expanding our own as well as our kids’ knowledge of history beyond our own borders, cultures, identities, and perspectives. 

Katherine's book list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers

Why did Katherine love this book?

Varian Johnson’s story alternates between modern and historical timelines to create a mystery that is explored from different eras and perspectives.

In the current day, Candice and her friend Brandon play detective, trying to solve the puzzle of a fortune alluded to in a note they find in Candice’s grandma’s attic. We also get flashes from the 1950s of the small Southern town where the story is set.

This a great family read that allows readers to test their detective-solving savvy while exploring meatier issues such as racism and prejudice.

By Varian Johnson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Parker Inheritance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina,
she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother,
who left the town in shame. But the letter describes
a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery
enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who
solves the puzzle.

So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she
begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep
into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and
one great love; and deeper into…

The Romance of Ballooning

By Edita Lausanne,

Book cover of The Romance of Ballooning: The Story of the Early Aeronauts

Deborah Noyes Author Of Lady Icarus: Balloonmania and the Brief, Bold Life of Sophie Blanchard

From the list on being lighter than air and above it all.

Who am I?

As an avid student of curious social history, I’ve wanted to tell the story of early flight for a while. A friend once took me up in a hot-air balloon for my birthday, and I’ve been a balloonomaniac ever since. I’ll never forget the awe I felt that morning in Vermont—the sensation of drifting softly above it all, passing spirit-like through orange-pink clouds just after sunrise with the muffled bark of a distant dog the only sound for miles. It was, to quote Sophie Blanchard, a “sensation incomparable.” 

Deborah's book list on being lighter than air and above it all

Why did Deborah love this book?

This oversized coffee-table book is an archival treasure trove: a collection of primary source materials—contemporary articles, letters, broadsheets, and other rare material—arranged chronologically and packed with line drawings and spectacular full-color plates. The author lets the painstakingly harvested entries speak for themselves, with little comment or imposed context beyond the archival images, and the result is a rich tribute to the art of ballooning and its practitioners. Beautifully curated and visually dazzling, this is a browser’s delight.

By Edita Lausanne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Romance of Ballooning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hard cover unique book fully illustrated about the romance of ballooning.

Book cover of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

C.S. Johnson Author Of Slumbering

From the list on book series for growing kids into lifelong readers.

Who am I?

As a writer and a mom, and a former teacher, and someone who constantly has to pay attention to the world we live in today, I feel especially compelled to find a good balance for parents to help their kids love reading without compromising their childhood innocence. As adults, we know we live in a broken world. But telling kids about these things without giving them a reason to hope for a better future or without giving them a good role model is more detrimental than helpful. It dooms them to nihilism and cynicism, and only a mature mind is able to successfully break free from that mind trap. 

C.S.'s book list on book series for growing kids into lifelong readers

Why did C.S. love this book?

The Wingfeather Saga is a great in-between series for fans of Narnia and Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings (I did read The Hobbit to my kids but they didn’t always get why things were funny or scary, and I think with the later Harry Potter books especially, it would be more in my interest to start those when my children are over 10 so they can grow up along with Harry in the series). 

The Wingfeather Saga starts off a little darker, with a family dealing with the past and the secrets. Two boys, Janner, Tink, and their sister, Leeli, are all gifted objects, and they set out to find answers; in the process, they are captured and their mother and grandfather step up to help them. Part fantasy, with a historical feel to it, the book centers on unraveling a mystery while facing down fearful creatures…

By Andrew Peterson,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After living for years under the occupation by the evil Fangs of Dang, the Igiby children find a map rumoured to lead to the lost Jewels of Anniera - the one thing the Fangs will do anything to find. The family is thrown headlong into a perilous adventure, uncovering truths about who they are that will change their world forever.

Repackaged with new illustrations, this is the opportunity to discover the Wingfeathers.

Letting Go!

By Dr. Sharie Coombes, Ellie O’Shea (illustrator),

Book cover of Letting Go!

Jessica Sinarski Author Of What's Inside Your Backpack?

From the list on children’s books for mental health.

Who am I?

My super-power is making brain science accessible and entertaining for children and adults alike. I am living this out as an author, mental health counselor, and the founder of BraveBrains. In addition to training parents and professionals, I have the joy of sharing my passion and expertise through podcast appearances, blogs, and articles. The lightbulb moments are my favorite, and I'm committed to helping people bring what they learn home in practical ways. I write picture books because the magic of reading and re-reading stories light up the brain in a powerful way. But don’t worry…I always include some goodies for the adults in the back of the book.

Jessica's book list on children’s books for mental health

Why did Jessica love this book?

Grief, unfortunately, is a part of life. Western culture has a habit of ignoring and minimizing grief in detrimental ways. When we gently turn toward the difficult stuff in life, we can “feel and deal” in ways that benefit mental health. There are many books about grieving the death of a loved one (a list for another day, perhaps), but few acknowledge the other intense and life-altering kinds of loss and change that children are grieving. Dr. Coombes’ book is much more inclusive–plus, it delivers a treasure trove of activities to help children (and adults) navigate this challenging part of being human. The delightful doodles will appeal to upper elementary and quite a few tweens and teens.

By Dr. Sharie Coombes, Ellie O’Shea (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Letting Go! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These writing, craft, and doodling activities are designed to offer children support through experiences of loss, change, disappointment, and grief by using creativity to combat negative feelings and help them work through difficult times.

Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Book cover of Treasure Island

Amelia Vergara Author Of Firefax

From the list on fiction full of intrigue, danger, and high adventure.

Who am I?

I am a physician assistant and paramedic with ten brothers and sisters, an all-consuming love of the outdoors and adventure, and a fascination with history, particularly early US history. I love reading and writing the kind of books that I would like to read. My debut novel, Firefax, was written in large part as an escape from the horrors of serving in the hospital as a physician assistant during the delta wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope it provides my readers with an escape from their own struggles as well. 

Amelia's book list on fiction full of intrigue, danger, and high adventure

Why did Amelia love this book?

From the very first time my mother read this story to my siblings and me as youngsters, I was hooked. The excellent 1990 adaptation featuring Christian Bale and Charlton Heston also served to fuel our youthful imaginations and we spent countless hours play-acting the story together on our farm. 

This tale, full of twists and intrigue, features a fascinating group of characters pitted against perhaps the greatest villain in all of literature, Long John Silver; a wily, cunning man who you both root for and against throughout the novel. The adventure keeps going at a breakneck pace as we follow Jim Hawkins journey from boy to man as he tries to outwit the most dangerous pirate in the world.

This is the kind of high adventure and escapism that readers crave, and Stevenson delivers to a satisfying conclusion.

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Treasure Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Penguin presents the audio CD edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas . . .

Dinosaur Pirates!

By Penny Dale,

Book cover of Dinosaur Pirates!

Cindy Thomson Author Of Enya's Son

From Cindy's 2-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author History-lover Word-weaver Spiritual seeker Reader Lover of all things Irish

Cindy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Cindy's 2, and 3-year-old's favorite books.

Why did Cindy's 2-year-old love this book?

Pirates and dinosaurs are two of our favorites!

The simple wording is perfect for young children, and the sounds: Arrh, arrh, arrh; twinkle, twinkle, twinkle; yo-ho-ho, yo-ho-ho, yo-ho-ho make it fun to repeat. The illustrations are colorful and engaging, too.

It’s a favorite for sure that I have to read every day at nap time, and I don’t mind!

By Penny Dale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dinosaur Pirates! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Our intrepid team of dinosaurs are back but this time they are pirates in search of buried treasure! Having navigated their way to a desert island and dug up their booty, they are just sailing away when they are ambushed by a fearsome band of marauding baddy-pirates!

Quest for the Golden Hare

By Bamber Gascoigne,

Book cover of Quest for the Golden Hare

Becky Crew Author Of Creatura: Strange Behaviours and Special Adaptations

From the list on bizarre animal adventures.

Who am I?

I’ve always had a love for weird and wonderful animals. As a kid, I used to collect lizards, snails, beetles, and caterpillars. When I was 15, I hid a family of white mice under the house so my parents wouldn’t find them. We bred guinea pigs and rats for a time. It was almost inevitable that I would end up writing about animals. As a science communicator, I tell stories about how strange yet relatable so many of the creatures living among us can be. I also love an adventure, and I hope these books capture your imagination as they did mine! 

Becky's book list on bizarre animal adventures

Why did Becky love this book?

From a wild sheep chase to a grand old treasure hunt that gripped a nation, the Quest for the Golden Hare tells the real-life story of one of the most famous book-related escapades in recent memory. 

In 1979, British artist Kit Williams published Masquerade – a cryptic storybook containing clues to the whereabouts of an 18-carat gold hare trinket that Williams buried somewhere in the English countryside. Author Bamber Gascoigne was the only other person present at the burial, and was tasked with documenting the frankly bonkers lengths the crazed fans would go to uncover it.

I’m loath to mention the pandemic again, but in these times, when most of us are going stir crazy and are itching for an adventure, this book might just be the next best thing. (Bonus points if you can source a copy of Masquerade while you’re at it, which I believe has been…

By Bamber Gascoigne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quest for the Golden Hare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Gascoigne, Bamber

Daughter of the Pirate King

By Tricia Levenseller,

Book cover of Daughter of the Pirate King

Kelly Risser Author Of Never Forgotten

From the list on to indulge your love of Fae.

Who am I?

I dreamed of being a fairy tale princess at a young age, and although I never received my glass slipper, I still have a highly active imagination. This is probably why fantasy books are my favorite, and I’ve read extensively in this space. I’m also a huge Disney and Harry Potter nerd. While I might not win a trivia competition on these topics, I could definitely hold my own. To be honest, immersing myself in another world is my favorite form of escapism and the number one way I relax and unwind after work. I’ve read many, many books in my life and can quickly tell you the ones I love the best.

Kelly's book list on to indulge your love of Fae

Why did Kelly love this book?

This book can be described in one word: Fun. From a ship crewed by female pirates to a quest for treasure, it has all the witty dialogue and adventure to match the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but instead features a fierce, female captain named Alosa who has mad skills and a way of looking at the world that will make you laugh out loud and cheer her on. 

This is the first in a duology, so it’s also not too much of a commitment to read, unlike some longer series. Both books are equally fast-paced and enjoyable. If you’re like me, you’ll be ready to grab your pirate hat and strap on your sword by the end of this book.

By Tricia Levenseller,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Daughter of the Pirate King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you want something done right...When her father, the ruthless Pirate King, discovers that a legendary treasure map can be found on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows that there's only one pirate for the job - herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her welcome on the ship. After all, who's going to suspect a girl locked in a cell...But Alosa has skills enough for any three pirates, and has yet to meet her match. Although she has to admit that the surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive first mate,…

No Country for Old Men

By Cormac McCarthy,

Book cover of No Country for Old Men

Andy Darby Author Of Me and The Monkey

From Andy's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Fantasy lover Psychonaut Cat dad Designer Metalhead

Andy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Andy love this book?

Anton Chigurh is, without a doubt, one of the most disturbing and driven killers in any book I have ever read. The story has a slow burn that drags you along a path that can only have one destination, and still, you want to walk it.

Unlike in the movie, we are given a backstory about the sheriff, which makes his decisions much more understandable, making him much less just a narrator.

McCarthy was not a fan of speech marks or excessive punctuation. Still, I found that this just focused my attention, breathlessly, upon the action, and after the first chapter, I had forgotten that I even needed them! A dark, modern Western novel that is hugely enjoyable.  

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked No Country for Old Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, instead finds men shot dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. Packing the money out, he knows, will change everything. But only after two more men are murdered does a victim's burning car lead Sheriff Bell to the carnage out in the desert, and he soon realizes that Moss and his young wife are in desperate need of protection. One party in the failed transaction hires an ex-Special Forces officer to defend his interests against a mesmerizing freelancer, while on either side are men accustomed to spectacular…

The Seventh Scroll

By Wilbur Smith,

Book cover of The Seventh Scroll

Nektaría Markaki Author Of Unmapped

From the list on to travel back in time and live adventurous.

Who am I?

History always fascinated me and ancient history even more. I have strong feelings about ancient Greece, Egypt, and ancient Rome, but I also find the medieval times really fascinating and always search for books that are set during that period of time. I feel that by reading these kinds of books, I learn a lot. I do my own research and I’m in awe by how these authors have managed to recreate those times. Although I avoid writing historical fiction, I love the genre so much that I consider it to be my favorite even above romance, which I am an expert in.   

Nektaría's book list on to travel back in time and live adventurous

Why did Nektaría love this book?

This book made me fall in love with ancient Egypt. It might not take place in the past but the findings of the main characters take you straight back in time. The descriptions of the places and the way of living in ancient Egypt-Ethiopia-The blue Nile, easily trigger your imagination and you find yourself creating pictures in your head. Also, the adventure is breathtaking. 

By Wilbur Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Seventh Scroll as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Best historical novelist' - Stephen King

'A master storyteller' - Sunday Times

'Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared' - The Times

'No one does adventure quite like Smith' - Daily Mirror


It is 4000 years since the battle for the Egyptian Kingdom, and Duraid and Royan al Simma have just uncovered the tomb of the ancient Egyptian Queen, Lostris, alongside the secret scrolls of the most…