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Island of Thieves (Tom Trelawney #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  466 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
Our Captayne took the pinnace
ashore and I went with hym and
six men also, who were sworne by
God to be secret in al they saw.
Here we buried five chests
filled with gold.
Buried Treasure. Ruthless Gansters. An Ancient Clue…
Tom Trelawney was looking for excitement. Now he’s found it. With his dodgy Uncle Harvey, he’s travelling to South America on a quest for hidden gold. But U
Published June 5th 2012 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published July 7th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Barb Middleton
Recommending authors to students can feel like hopscotch at times. They might latch onto one author such as Gary Paulsen, consume the shelf of twenty-plus books, then eagerly bounce around waiting for another great recommendation, like a puppy wanting a treat. I can't resist puppies and I don't want to let them down. The problem for me is finding that action adventure novel that isn't too difficult as they work toward reading fluency. I can now file Josh Lacey's "Island of Thieves" to my action ...more
Nov 24, 2012 Raina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is SO Much Fun.

I mean, really.

Kid convinces his uncle to take him along to South America on a quest to find an ancient stash of gold.
There's a little bit of history, there's gunplay with the mob, there's a burned down shed... What else could you want in a middle school adventure read? It pretty much screams Indiana Jones readalike.

I took this to the middle schools in my area in January 2013 and it was a super fun opener. It definitely fits in with Hacking Timbuktu, Jack Heath's The
Mark Baker
Sep 19, 2012 Mark Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, middle-grade
Tom Trelawney's parents have just dumped him with an uncle he hardly knows. But Uncle Harvey is planning a trip to Peru to follow a treasure map he's just uncovered. Tom talks his way into the trip, but they have hardly landed when they run afoul of the most notorious crook in the country. Can they stay one step ahead of him and find the treasure. Another young adult novel, and another fun, wild ride. I did feel the characters could use a bit more development, but the target audience will love i ...more
Zhenhao Ren
Nov 07, 2013 Zhenhao Ren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 8th-grade
I really like the idea of writing a book about finding lost treasure because that seems like the plot of a lot of movies out there. The author made it seem like a James Bond movie with the crime organization in Peru, finding clues to approximate the area of the treasure, and eventually escaping the area alive but losing the treasure. While reading this book I keep thinking of some of the famous movies such as James Bond, Indiana Jones, and even National Treasure. I felt that the author got a lot ...more
Sep 29, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom the main character is kind of a punk he burned down his parents shed so he had to stay at his uncle Harvey's while they went on vacation then agin he is helpful for example he helped his uncle Harvey while he was at his place.the overall problem in this story is that uncle Harvey's bussness was that he worked on thieves island so there were people that would try to take him down but tom could help and I think that they will come out winners on their mission.
Aug 30, 2013 Aine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We listened to the audio book on the way to the beach (and back again). It was GREAT!! Glad to see that Josh Lacey has more books. It is soooo much fun to find a new author that both kids and adults like.
Evan Pastino
Sep 23, 2016 Evan Pastino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best action book I have read the characters are really well written about 5/5
Oct 26, 2016 Hayden.S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A daring and action-packed adventure
Hayden S

I think one of the strong points of Island Of Thieves by Josh Lacey strong points is its action, although there may be a lot of it. The author balanced it out with some slower parts in between. And even though I think the author does best with action he also does well with the slower parts. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a story that they can really get attached to and that will stay with them for a while. Because I think
Oct 24, 2012 Ravencrantz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This book was incredibly average. It was an interesting story, full of adventure and buried treasure, but the execution wasn't spot on. It did pick up a bit in the middle and at the end, but getting there was a bit of a struggle. I think it might be too simple for me and really meant for a different age group, but so is most of the books I read. This one almost seemed childish, much like Magyk and The Alchemyst, except the characters in Island of Thieves weren't boring and flat. Not completely, ...more
Feb 26, 2017 Brodie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
February ; Island of Thieves ; Josh Lacey

In the book ''Island of Thieves'' a young boy named Tom, was bored, so he decided to go inside of his parents shed outside of his backyard. Little did his parents know, Tom brought a box of matches and hid inside the shed. He struck one, blew it out and threw it on the ground. After finishing of the whole box of matches, he smelled smoke. He forgot to blow out one of the matches. The match ended up burning down the whole shed. And once his parents found
Aug 17, 2014 carrietracy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
With its slick cover and exciting James Bond-referencing cover blurb, this book looks like a promising offer for the upper elementary set. It certainly has plenty of action and adventure, but I can’t really recommend it for that age group, or even older readers. You’ll see why.

Tom’s parents are set to leave on a long overdue vacation, without kids. But when Tom burns down their shed, no one is willing to let him come for a visit. With nowhere else to turn, they drop Tom off with his Uncle Harvey
Ms. Yockey
Jun 28, 2012 Ms. Yockey marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
June 2012
Ask Ellen

Booklist starred (May 1, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 17))
Grades 4-7. In this fast-paced, action-packed adventure novel, Tom travels to Peru in search of lost treasure with his affable but not quite upstanding uncle Harvey. Unfortunately for Tom, Harvey double-crossed a Peruvian crime lord on his last trip to Lima. As soon as they step into the country, thugs kidnap the two, unleashing a series of escapes, car chases, and a search for the lost journal pages of Sir Francis Drake’s voy
Sep 13, 2016 18andrewk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Island of Thieves

Josh Lacey

Tom Trelawney is a troubled boy who is spending the week with his uncle in New York because his parents are going out of town. What he doesn't know is that he is about to go on the adventure of his life with his uncle who he doesn't know all that well.
Uncle Harvey has to go to Peru for work but he doesn't want Tom to come. Tom is very convincing and gets his uncle to let him come. Soon, Tom realizes that they're going to Peru on a treasure hunt. When they get to Peru
Mar 03, 2012 Keysersozed rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have, audible
I was hesitant to spend my hard earned audible credits on Island of Thieves as there are so few reviews and the star ratings were merely average.

But I watched Indy Jones as a kid and I still dream of finding a treasure map so I decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately, I can understand the apathy towards the book.
It isn’t a bad book at all; in fact it actually has the basis of a really good story.

Sadly, though, it never lives up to its potential.

That means you’re left not really wanting to bag
Tom's parents are planning their first vacation in 15 years, and Tom is supposed to be staying at a friend's house. Just before their trip, he accidentally burns down their shed, and his friend's mother decides she doesn't trust he won't burn down her shed. Once news of his shenanigans spread, no one wants to take him for the week. His parents panic, and call the last person they would usually trust -- Uncle Harvey. They drive Tom to New York City, drop him off with his estranged uncle, and leav ...more
BAYA Librarian
Nov 22, 2012 BAYA Librarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun diversion for younger adventure readers, Island of Thieves is a fast-paced romp that is surprisingly readable. Tom's uncle Harvey is supposed to be watching him while his parents are on vacation. Instead, they go to Peru in search of buried pirate treasure. Uncle Harvey's inability to make mature decisions is part of the charm of this novel. He is clearly one of those adults who doesn't have kids and shouldn't have kids. But now he is responsible for one and has no clue what to do with a t ...more
Joel T.
Sep 18, 2015 Joel T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Island of Thieves by Josh Lacey. Vacation on Peru sounds fun especially when you are grounded. Well for Tom he and his uncle are in the country of Peru to find lost treasures stolen and hidden by pirates. The catch is that they are working with one of the biggest criminal mastermind in Peru. They go onto the island to find the treasure after being held captive by Otto (dangerous criminal). He fed them and gave them shelter. He threatens that if they don't find it he will kill them. One day they ...more
Some spoilers ahead!

Pretty fun adventurous book for young adult readers. Tom Trelawney is a likeable protagonist and I appreciated that he was not some "superkid" character. He's smart, but not overly smart (for example, he struggles to remember what he learned about Sir Francis Drake in his history class, and laments his lack of Spanish-speaking skills). He's also a bit of a troublemaker, but he generally tries to do what is right (i.e. he feels guilty about paying the elderly couple on the mou
Sep 04, 2014 Krista rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nathan Treysman
May 27, 2014 Nathan Treysman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a kid named Tom who convinces his uncle Harvey to take him on a buried treasure hunt in South America. Tom and Harvey fought about it for a little while and finally Tom had a convincing point. Tom said, "You can't leave me here, because i'm too young. It is illegal. If someone found out you can be thrown in jail for child abuse." Harvey replies, "Don't try to black mail me, you're not coming with me and that's final"(p.17-18). Before he could even end the sentence, they were a ...more
Aug 18, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baya-review
Surprisingly good adventure story. Bit of mystery, treasure hunting, gangsters, more history than I expected, and lots of action. This is a story that you just have to go with. Once you have suspended your disbelief and accepted the various coincidences and last-minute escapes, you can just let this plot drag you along on the fun adventure. I think this will be an easy sell for my action-craving readers, particularly the younger ones. Likable, imperfect characters. Unpredictable situations. Humo ...more
Jul 12, 2012 OutlawPoet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Tom goes to stay with his Uncle Harvey, little does he know that he'll soon be whisked away to a foreign country where he'll soon be running from criminals, treasure hunting, and having the adventure of his life.


This really is a fantastic little adventure for middle schoolers. Tom isn't the perfect kid, but he's brave, adventurous, and good-hearted. Though he makes a few wrong decisions along the way, he's a kid any boy would want to be. This is a fast-paced, easy read
Lisa Nocita
When Tom's mischievous behavior threatens to thwart his parents' long awaited and anticipated couple's get away, the only person who agrees to take Tom for the week is his uncle Harvey, who barely knows. Uncle Harvey lives in NY so Tom is excited about the prospect even though he doesn't know what to expect. Just after his parents depart for the airport Harvey informs Tom that he will be on his own as he has an important trip to Peru and will he be alight on his own? At first Tom thinks this is ...more
Feb 04, 2013 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Houghton Mifflin, 2012
240 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

An action-packed adventure/treasure hunt, toss in a few kidnappings, a trip to South America and one hilarious uncle and nephew pair and you have The Island of Thieves.
Uncle Harvey has a page from an old journal that he thinks is the key to a huge treasure. But the page came from Peru, and he lives in England. When he is strapped with babysitting his nephew for a week he ends up taking Tom with him. The two are immediately kidnap
This was a light fun adventure story. Suspend your disbelief and just go along for the ride! If you don't go looking for complicated plot twists and well developed characters, you won't be disappointed. Tom Trelawney is just an ordinary, somewhat smart mouthed young teen. Tom's parents are taking a long overdue vacation, just the two of them. Unfortunately, after Tom accidentally burns down his family's shed, no one wants to keep him. As a last resort, they contact his uncle, a bachelor living i ...more
May 02, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book for what it was, a thrilling, action-packed adventure story. It has hidden gold, ancient letters, south american mobsters, and car chases, to mention a few of the exciting events. Tom Trelawney, the main character, has always been a bit of a rascal, and when he gets to go off on an adventure with his irresponsible, gambling addict, adventurer uncle Harvey, he jumps at the opportunity. And it seems like he is going to be good at being a true Trelawney, just like Uncle H ...more
Ruth Ann
It’s spring break. Tom’s parents have decided to take a vacation by themselves. They’ve found places for Tom and his brother and sister to stay.
But, the family Tom was going to stay with has other plans at the last minute. Tom’s dad takes him to his uncle’s Manhattan apartment.
Now, his Uncle Harvey is one of those uncles Tom hardly knows and he is a little worried about this – spending a whole week with someone he’s only seen a couple of times in his entire life. After his parents drop him off
After Tom burns down the shed in his backyard, his strange Uncle Harvey is the only one who will care for him while his parents take a no-kids-allowed vacation. Uncle Harvey isn't really happy to take him because he has somewhere out of the country he needs to be. Tom wrangles himself an invite along; or rather he doesn't give his uncle a choice.

Off to South America they go where Uncle Harvey meets some interesting people and immediately becomes an object of interest to the local organized crime
Julie Williams
Sep 22, 2013 Julie Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It all started when Tom burned down the shed. Because of that no one wanted him to stay at their houses while his parents were on vacation. His parents, in desperation, sent him to stay with his Uncle Harvey. What Harvey didn't tell Tom's parents was that he was going to Peru and was going to leave Tom in New York City by himself. Tom had other plans and managed to get his Uncle Harvey to take him along to Peru. That's where things got crazy. You see, Uncle Harvey was a bit of a shady character ...more
Kim McGee
Tom just wants to stay home alone while his parents go on their well deserved vacation so when his only option is to stay in New York City with an uncle he hasn't seen for years he takes it. Uncle Harvey doesn't know what to make of Tom and the feeling is mutual until Tom bribes his uncle to make him a partner in a treasure hunt in Peru. The story sky rockets from here as Tom and Uncle Harvey are on the run from a Peruvian gangster while trying to find where the gold from one of Sir Frances Drak ...more
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Josh Lacey also writes as Joshua Doder.
More about Josh Lacey...

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