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Key to the Treasure (Liza, Bill & Jed Mysteries)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Each summer Lisa, Bill, and Jed visit their grandparents, and they hear the story of the sketches hung above the mantel. The sketches are clues to a hidden treasure, and no one has been able to figure them out for a century. There is a missing first clue, but when the children stumble upon the second clue, they're on their way. Could it be that on this visit they will solv ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 8th 2005 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1966)
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A 1966 puzzle mystery by the author of the Amelia Bedelia series. Three quintessentially WASPy children search for buried Indian treasure while spending summer vacation at their grandparents' farm. The book sounds kind of like an eight year-old wrote it, but in a way that's perfect for an eight year-old to read.

I disliked the underlying message that "Indians are people who used to live here and now don't--wonder how that happened?--but gee, it sure is cool that they left behind nifty artifacts
I first read this book back in the mid-80s when I was in third grade. This is one of the few series I've kept from my childhood. Since it's a rainy day, I thought it might be fun to give it a go (considering I started this series on a rainy day as a child). I read this series countless times during my elementary school years, but I haven't touched these books in almost 20 years. Yes, they're dated. They're simple. But, they're still fun and they bring back fond memories.

What's interesting to me
I loved this book as a child, and read it many times. I just finished reading it with my 7-year-old, who enjoyed it as much as I did. The story is about three kids who solve a number of puzzles and clues in order to find a treasure of family legend. The puzzles were a bit of a challenge for my son, but he found it exciting to try and solve them himself. To a modern reader, parts of the book are rather quaint and old-fashioned: the dated language the characters use, the idyllic setting on the swe ...more
Evy Freedman
My dad was looking through all his old books and brought tuns of them to us and one of them was this book KEY TO THE TREASURE and i absolutely loved it!
One of my favorite childhood reads. :D
Douglas Milewski
The Key to the Treasure by Peggy Parish was one of those childhood books that I greatly enjoyed, and beyond belief, my parents still had floating around. Published in 1966, with a bright yellow cover, the story is that of three nice white children who have a nice white adventure at their grandparent's house. In the past, their white ancestor went off to fight in the civil war, but he left behind clues for his children to follow. Alas, the children never got the proper clues. With a little luck a ...more
Hannah Holida
This is a great kids book. My grandmother gave me it when for a birthday a few years ago. The copy was made in 1966 and had my father's name and the year he read it written in it. Now I'm reading it to my nephew and he loves the "silly mask" AKA the ferocious looking mask used to scare away evil spirits. Anyway if you can get your hands on the older copy the illustrations are great! All together I will treasure this book for years to come!
Granted, I probably haven't read this since I was 11 or so, but this was one of my favorite books when I was young. Imagine how very surprised I was today to discover that there were actually a whole bunch of children's mystery books featuring these kids! Anyway, if you've got a kid, get this for them to read.
I just finished reading this to my son. As each time I've read it to a child (or had it read to me,) it holds up perfectly. The kids maintain dignity even while there are expectations of them in the surrounding (and very supportive) adult world. Highly recommended.
Jenni Leister
Ohhhh, I remember Mrs. Magneson, my elementary school librarian, reading this to me over, um, 35 years ago... This book set off my interest in summer adventures and homemade clues. Found an old version in a vintage shop the other week and went nuts... just finished reading it to my four year old and we both loved it! What memories! Now, to creating my own key to the treasure hints here at home... :-)
I loved this book when I was a kid and my kids love it too. They are 4 and 7, one of each gender, and begged me to keep reading until we finished it. They laughed hard several times and were thrilled by the mystery and the ending. It's simple enough for a young child to understand but exciting enough for an older child to love it too.
I first read this book as a kid and remember loving it. The book is very unique in the fact that the puzzles that Jed, Bill, and Liza find can be solved by the reader before reading how the kids solve it. So it's a true puzzle-solving mystery. I still worked the puzzles myself this time as well. However, I appreciated more of the story as an adult. It shows the importance of one's family history being past down through the generations. I feel this is an excellent example of a children's classic ...more
Update June 2015: Just finished this with the kids, and we loved it again! So much fun--they were in suspense. In fact, Hannah couldn't take the suspense anymore and read it all on her own. Her first full length book. :)

Update: Hannah and I just finished this book and I/we loved it! It's so fast and fun--a great read for a beginning reader too, boy or girl. I loved the mystery behind it and how it ends. It was nice to get through something fast with we can settle down to Swiss Famil
Feb 10, 2015 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children starting to read longer chapter books
This is an entertaining book in the Liza, Bill, & Jed Mysteries series by Peggy Parish. Unfortunately our local library only has one of them, so I may have to purchase the others.

This story was originally published in 1960, but it's still very fun to read and doesn't feel too out of date. Our girls loved solving the puzzles and were excited to finish the story. We read the book at three separate times throughout the day, they were so eager to get to the end. We really enjoyed reading this b
Jen Maidenberg
Just read it with my 8 year old for the first time in 30 years. Loved it still. Of course, a bit outdated in its language and references but not so much that it's a turn off for my kid
Anna H
Favorite from elementary school! Mr. Henshaw read it to us out loud a chapter at a time. Great little mystery.
Where is Amelia Bedelia? Isn't that all Peggy Perish writes?

Okay, I'm just kidding. Still, this is a lame book.
Hallie O'malley
This is an awesome mystery book! I really like the old goose! He's really funny! Every kid should read this book.
I read this when I was a kid. Mysteries were never my favorite genre, but I remember enjoying it. Now my reluctant third-grade reader (who does like mysteries) is enjoying it as well. Fun for kids who like to solve puzzles and coded messages. You can try to solve them yourself or just read the story as is. Fun fact: The author, Peggy Parish, is most famous for writing the Amelia Bedelia books, but this mystery series of hers has also stood the test of time. It is still regularly checked out in m ...more
Another book from my childhood that I LOVED. I'm going to have to think about whether or not to give it to Sam yet - she could definitely read it but part of the story is about someone who goes away to war and dies. He has 3 children so I think that it would make Sam sad - I'll either wait a little or find a way to prepare her for it. In those situations I remind her it's a story and sometimes to make the story really good people have to find ways to get rid of some people so they normally kill ...more
A total winner for an almost-9-year-old--we started reading and he didn't want to stop. A bit old fashioned, but Parish gets right to the point and plunges us into three children's search for a hundred-year-old treasure. Who wouldn't be instantly involved in the story of a man who leaves for the Civil War, but first gives his children a clue and an invitation to a treasure hunt. The clue is ruined, and the children are never able to solve the puzzle, since their father is killed. Now, a hundred ...more
Loved this as a kid, and loved sharing it with my kids.
Boonie Bevins
This was my favorite book as a kid!
One of the best kids' books!
I read this book in third grade and loved it. All 3 of my kids have also read it at that age. Not sure if they loved it quite as much as I did, but a good story. Stereotypical portrayal of Native Americans (written in the 60's), but good for discussion. Very much in the line of the Sherwood Ring -- family mystery from the past solved by clever young people!
This is a great book to keep your kids busy in the summer. You can read ahead and give them the clues to work out. I used to give this book as a gift to my children's teachers. My daughter's 3rd grade teacher still reads it out loud each year to her classes and makes them do the sleuthing. May have to look for it as it is out of print.
This is kind of a pre-Nancy Drew mystery for those that are beyond Boxcar Children/ Bobbsey Twins but not quite ready for Nancy or the Hardy Boys. It is not great but young readers will likely be surprised and enjoy the plot twists and turns.Bonus: Peggy Parish, of Amelia Bedilia fame is the author.
This was my favorite book as a kid and for years I've tried to remember the title and was only able to remember the illustrations until I stumbled upon it finally not too long ago. I love the detail in the mystery and the codes you get to solve as you go along. I'd expect nothing less from Peggy Parish.
Ana Monterrosa
Great book for my class. They enjoyed it and loved trying to figure out the clues.
I read this book so much when I was a kid that it's falling apart now. I used to spend a lot of time on my grandma's farm, and I would actually make up games based on the book so that my younger cousins could find their own treasure!
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Peggy Parish was the author of the children's story series Amelia Bedelia. The series was continued, after her sudden death from an aneurysm, by her nephew Herman Parish. Peggy attended the University of South Carolina and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

Herman honored Peggy's life in his book, Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia, by writing in its dedication: "For Peggy Parish, the real Am
More about Peggy Parish...

Other Books in the Series

Liza, Bill & Jed Mysteries (6 books)
  • Clues in the Woods (Liza, Bill & Jed Mysteries)
  • The Haunted House
  • The Mystery of Hermit Dan (Liza, Bill & Jed Mysteries)
  • Pirate Island Adventure
  • The Ghosts of Cougar Island

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