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The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton ~ Review

The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton
The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton
By Mike Thomas

The summer that Luke McAllister is 12 is one filled with adventure as he and his two best friends Farley Ray Midkiff and RaeNell Stephens determine to find the legendary hidden treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton.  But first things first they need to decide where to look.

And determining where to start digging means reading which is in Luke's words is research and "research had a ring of homework to it."  And Luke wasn't "going to spend the whole summer doing homework and reading and stuff."  But everybody had a "different telling of it" and research was the only way to figure it out.

With Momma correcting his grammar and Poppa Daddy to make him do his chores around the farm Luke has a full summer ahead of him.

The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton is a delightful story that is sure to capture the imagination of any reader.  Set in a simpler time and place with a mood setting dialect that helps pull the reader into the story and its charms.  The search brings to light more than a legendary treasure as the true value of family and friendship is discovered.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet book with a story from a bygone era when innocence isn't something unusual and friendship between boys and girls was normal.

I was provided a copy of this title to review for the purpose of this Pump Up Your Book blog tour. 

What does a guy do when his best friend starts doing things that are completely out of character? In the case of Luke McAllister, you can’t do anything - until you figure out exactly what it is that is different. The fact that his best friend is a girl complicates matters a heap. Nothing makes sense when RaeNell Stephens, the girl that has “the best curve ball he’s ever seen”, starts blushing and acting like a durned female. All of this at the beginning of the ‘summer to end all summers’ too. This is the summer that Luke, RaeNell, and their friend Farley Midkiff set out to locate, and cash in on a rogue Civil War soldier’s stolen one million dollar Union payroll.

Undaunted by thousands of scholars and fortune seekers having looked unsuccessfully for the treasure for a hundred years, the three twelve-year-old friends search diligently for themselves. What they find is an adventure that leads them on a spiraling path of discovery.

They discover newness in themselves, their families, and the closeness of a small southern community in the process. Luke wrestles with his morality, ethics, and his slowly emerging awareness of the difference between boys and girls. He also discovers that his late father left him an incredibly large legacy of duty, fidelity and caring for those around him.

The telling of the story takes place in imaginary New Caledonia County, NC in 1966. The deep rural traditions, vernacular, and ways of life of the region and community are portrayed in great detail as the story unfolds.

This is an adventure story, but it is also a story about making good decisions whether you want to or not... It is also a story of relationships. Family and community are underscored, but there is an underlying theme of male/female relationships. It's really okay for boys and girls to be buddies without always having to be boyfriends and girlfriends. It is also a story about innocence. NOT innocence lost, but innocence maintained.

Available for purchase at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.


Mike Thomas is a southern writer. He grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina where he learned a lot about family, traditions, and the genteel lifestyle most southerners enjoy. The richly eccentric folks of his youth have become his characters in today's books and stories.

Mike began as a news writer, editor, columnist, reporter, and speechwriter before switching to the role of Critical Care Registered Nurse. He traveled nearly every corner of the world as a vagabond contract nurse before resettling in North Carolina a few years ago. He lives with Bobby, his desktop computer, and Rachel his laptop, in Halifax County, NC.

 "That's all I need," He says, "Just my computers and a bit of focus. Then we can make up worlds we could only have dreamed of last week." You can visit him at