ElsBeth and the Pirate’s Treasure

ElsBeth and the Pirate's Treasure (Cape Cod Witch Series, Book I)ElsBeth and the Pirate’s Treasure by J. Bean Palmer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This children’s book was a cute, short read. True to the book’s blurb, Elsbeth and the Pirate’s Treasure is about a little girl named Elsbeth who is in second grade and happens to be a witch, and becomes embroiled in a search for pirate’s treasure gone awry. Evenly-paced and written for a young reader, this story is nonetheless delivered with maturity and great respect for the subject, characters and plot.
Elsbeth is precocious and well liked by her peers, a born leader when the thick of the action sets in. Each of her classmates has a face and a name and a personality to match. Cape Cod is brought to life on the page through the physical descriptions as well as the inclusion of real life history.
Hannah Goodspell, Elsbeth’s grandmother, is an intriguing character. Palmer tells us, through Hannah’s recounting; the old woman is from the Old Country and a witch of renown. She has a rich history only barely touched upon in this story, apparently told in another book. There is an unstated, or perhaps unintentional, mystery concerning why Hannah is raising her granddaughter. The whereabouts of Elsbeth’s parents is never disclosed or explored. I was also somewhat confused on Hannah’s exact age since the story is set in modern time yet Hannah came to the New World with her husband in the time of the Salem Witch Trials.
Despite these vagaries the story not adversely affected, and is steeped in magic and history. This is a tale of courage and commitment to community and friends against adversity, even the magical kind. The addition of artwork depicting the various characters or scenes adds a quaint visual note to appreciate.
I give Elsbeth and the Pirate’s Treasure 5 out of 5 stars.

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