Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye by Geronimo Stilton
All of the flashy font styles and full-color captioned pictures in the world are not enough to compensate for the terrible writing in this one. I don’t feel good about saying that. My students adored Geronimo Stilton books and my classroom had quite a collection of them. But sometimes there’s just no accounting for (nine year old) taste.
Why was I so disappointed? Why the scathing comment about terrible writing? Well, the book is confusing. There’s just so much content that is completely irrelevant to the main plot. We’re talking whole chapters that you could rip out of the book, pop in a shredder and no one would be any the wiser for it. It takes a good 70 (out of 116) pages to even get to the treasure hunting portion of the book underway and then it lacks excitement.
It’s few redeeming qualities would be the eye-catching style which definitely appeals to reluctant readers and the volume of similes (always helpful when you’re trying to teach that particular writing skill). But in all honesty, I worry that reluctant readers (who are often, although not always, struggling readers) will have a hard time following a book that has so much extraneous and irrelevant plotting. And who knows if kids will pick up on the the plethora of references: Rats Authority (instead of Sports Authority), Harry Ratini (instead of Harry Houdini), Christopher Columouse (you get the idea)…
Based on this single foray into the series, I wouldn’t dissuade a kid who was set on reading it, but nor would I recommend it for most readers.
Sex, Nudity, Dating – Waterproof underwear is mentioned (and shown in an illustration). A mouse asks to take Thea to dinner. Geronimo invites a very pretty lady friend of his to play tennis. She whispers in his ear.
Profanity – None.
Death, Violence and Gore – Trap says that anyone who dares to take his share of the treasure is a dead rat. Trap mentions that in medieval times they poured boiling oil on their enemies. Thea throws a coconut at Trap and threatens to make him into earmuffs. There are illustrations of skulls. Trap falls into a pit full of bones. Thea carries a knife. Thea says she could chop a rat’s tail in two.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None.
Frightening or Intense Things – Geronimo falls overboard, but is rescued. The ship sinks. Geronimo gets stuck in quicksand.
Gross Out Geronimo plops onto the toilet after eating bad clams and is accused of “building a stink bomb.” Trap vomits into Geronimo’s hat.