Missing in Paradise – book review

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Disclosure: I received this book to review. Opinions shared here are mine.

Missing in Paradise book tour

You know that feeling you get when you stumble upon buried treasure?

Okay, neither do I.  But I got pretty close with Missing in Paradise!

My daughter has always been a good reader, yet it was difficult to find books that were the right combination of age-appropriate content and interesting storyline.  Missing in Paradise is just the book I would have needed for her starting in 3rd or 4th grade!  Many of my 6th grade students would also love this book.  I loved the way that author Larry Verstraete gave the characters just enough independence to follow their instincts yet kept the story clean and safe at the same time.  There’s a mystery to be solved which includes, of course, treasure.  Two boys embark on an adventure that will change more than one life.  It’s a little bit like the Goonies!

Missing in Paradise would be perfect for the classroom.  You could easily work it into a WWII unit by including some of the true history behind the novel.  Not being familiar with Canadian history or culture, I found this part to be especially engaging.  The whole treasure map idea is the perfect way to incorporate Missing in Paradise in a geography lesson.  The teacher could hide a “treasure” and have students find it!  One of the characters, Simon, is adept when it comes to inventions and gadgets.  The book could be used in a science unit as well.  Finally, there is an interesting twist on genealogy woven into the plot.  Why not use Missing in Paradise to initiate a family history project?

This is a thin book at only 130 pages. It’s a great option for middle grades students, especially those who are reluctant readers.  The story is interesting right from the start. It contains short chapters with vibrant figurative language.  I’d love to see this title available as an ebook!

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Read the reviews on Goodreads.

Purchase Links:    Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  IndieBound

Click here to find out what other book bloggers are saying about Missing in Paradise! 

Missing in Paradise book review at savingsinseconds.com


 Title: Missing in Paradise

Publication date: November 3, 2014

Publisher: Rebelight Publishing Inc.

Author: Larry Verstraete

Four months after Gramp’s mysterious death, Nate helps out at Gram’s garage sale. An eerie feeling, as if Gramps were reaching beyond the grave to send Nate a message, leads Nate to a box full of clues. A missing plane. A secret to keep. A map highlighting the route where Gramps died and the message, “Shipment #35-Gold.” Nate and his best friend, Simon, are convinced that Gramps was on a treasure hunt when he died. They’re just as convinced that Gram’s shifty next door neighbour, Fortier, is after the gold too. Nate and Simon sneak away on a Greyhound bus for the small town of Paradise where Nate is sure treasure awaits. Can they find the gold before Fortier gets his thieving hands on a treasure that rightfully belongs to Gramps?

Larry Verstraete is an award winning author of 13 non-fiction books for young people. This is his first work of fiction.


Larry Verstraete, a retired teacher, has authored thirteen non-fiction books for young people and won multiple awards including the 2012 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award and the 2010 Silver Birch Non-fiction Award. Missing in Paradise is his first work of fiction.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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  1. Thanks for being part of the blog tour for Missing in Paradise, and for the high fives you gave my book in your review. Much appreciated.


    • Sherry Compton says:

      Thanks for the writing and fun adventure stories. I’m a librarian, and I always like finding new, good books.

  2. Sherry Compton says:

    Thanks. Sounds like an adventure my grandson would like, and even my grown daughter….she loved Goonies.

  3. Looks like an interesting book. Thanks for the review.

  4. I’m intrigued by this book. I have a 6th grader that isn’t reading as much as I’d like, so this looks like a good title to try.

  5. Michelle Elizondo says:

    This looks like an interesting read!

  6. Michelle Elizondo says:

    I am pro the blog tour!

  7. Michelle Elizondo says:

    What a fun blog tour!

  8. Sherry Compton says:

    He has written lots of books. They look like fun adventures that I know my grandson will enjoy. We have one, and I have enjoyed it myself.

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