The Treasure Hunters has strong Goonies vibes and we were thrilled to ask author Lisa Thompson a few questions.
The Treasure Hunters is a brilliant adventure reminiscent of The Goonies. Where did your idea come from for this story?
I picked up my daughter after she’d been on a weekend of hiking and camping as part of the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award. As soon as she got into the car she burst out crying and went through a list of everything that went wrong… blisters, heavy rucksacks, moaning team mates, mud and rain and getting lost etc! As I drove home I thought… there could be a story here..?! (My daughter went on to do the Duke of Edinburgh silver award and loved it!)
The four kids in the story are so well written. How did you come up with each character?
Thank you! I started by thinking of different ways that someone might be struggling in school which might not be obvious to someone on the outside. For example, Scarlett can be nasty, but she is clearly having issues with her friendship group, and possibly things at home – but from the outside she just appears to be cruel. I wanted Vincent to be living in his big brother’s shadow and struggling with his own confidence and almost finding it difficult to find his place in his own family. All of the characters are vulnerable but in different ways.
Do you think you would like to develop this into a series where the four attempt to discover the truth behind more of Grandpa’s investigations?
That’s a great idea! I rarely re-visit books that I’ve already written but there is definitely scope for more adventures and investigations for these four, I feel.
The booby-traps are great and Vincent’s gaming smarts shine in this part of the story- did you want to highlight that about him?
I did! It was a bit of a nod towards the gaming world as I think that gamers can sometimes get a bad press! Gaming is something I used to do in my early teens, although the games back then were very, very simple and quite laughable by today’s standards. I also discovered that gaming can help people with dyspraxia so Vincent originally uses his console to improve his coordination skills. Then he realises he’s really good at it and his skills become very useful in the treasure hunt!
What would you like children to take from reading your story?
Not to judge those around us until you know their story. I think that’s a common theme in a lot of my books. We start this book thinking we have these characters ‘labelled’ and I hope, by the end, the reader will see them differently.
Are you working on anything else that you can share with us?
I am working on my next book which comes out in April 2024. I’m at the editing stage now so it’s all coming together nicely! I also have a short younger children’s read coming out with Barrington Stoke in the not too distant future.
The Treasure Hunters is published by Scholastic and is available now.