STARRED REVIEW
September 01, 2015

Searching for Al Capone’s missing loot

By Mark Bowden
Review by

Ten-year-old Christa Adams has a problem. Her parents are making the disastrous mistake of selling the family cabin in Wisconsin’s north woods, where Christa has spent every summer of her life. In the past, she might have had help reasoning with her parents from her sister, Amelia—but she’s been replaced by Amelia-the-Princess, who only seems to care about texting and tanning. Luckily for Christa, her new friend Alex might have a solution buried in his family’s past.

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Ten-year-old Christa Adams has a problem. Her parents are making the disastrous mistake of selling the family cabin in Wisconsin’s north woods, where Christa has spent every summer of her life. In the past, she might have had help reasoning with her parents from her sister, Amelia—but she’s been replaced by Amelia-the-Princess, who only seems to care about texting and tanning. Luckily for Christa, her new friend Alex might have a solution buried in his family’s past.

Alex’s family has moved to Hayward to help his grandfather run the family restaurant, Clarks Pizza. Clarks is famous for its glory days in the 1920s, when it was known as Clarks Fine Dining, and Al Capone himself would do business from his regular table. Most of Hayward believes the rumors about the Clarks, that they hid a chunk of Capone’s loot and Grandpa Clark knows where it is. If Christa and Alex—and their adventuring alter egos, Chase Truegood and Buck Punch—find Capone’s loot, Christa can save her family’s summer home.

Finders Keepers is infused with the magic of summer but also the bittersweet realities of growth and change, as Christa learns to see her family differently and to separate their priceless memories from the cabin itself. Christa is funny, confident and every inch a tomboy. Alex is shy and smart, but with a healthy dose of 11-year-old cheek. Their realistic friendship—and Christa’s passion for the Northwoods—captures the instant nostalgia of childhood summers and makes Finders Keepers a perfect escape from the school year.

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Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers

By Mark Bowden
Atlantic Monthly
ISBN 9780871138590

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