Treasure in the lake by Jason Pamment

cover image

Independent, adventurous Iris is on the trail of treasure, just like the explorers in her favourite books. Loyal and supportive best friend Sam is always there to share the adventures, even when they are just in their local creek. Iris hasn’t told Sam that she has applied to go away to school, but just as she gets her acceptance letter her mum says they can’t afford it. Angry and confused she plans to run away and when Sam finds her she still doesn’t confide in him. Just then they discover the creek has dried up and they follow a trail of previously submerged artefacts until they come upon a ghost town. Intent on discovering the answer to the mystery town Iris pushes ahead in spite of an impending storm and she finds more than she had bargained for. Meanwhile Sam, with the help of an old local, Benjamin who lived in the town before it was flooded, bravely sets out to rescue Iris before it is too late. The friends not only learn a lot about their town and its history, they learn about themselves and the value of friendship.

This beautifully drawn and richly coloured comic style graphic novel has an extra page at the end about real submerged towns in Australia, Argentina and Italy. It also has an interesting section on the process the artist/author goes through to develop an idea using thumbnail sketches and character sketches. This section could be a useful teaching aid to encourage students to tell their own stories.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Treasure, Mystery.

Sue Speck