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Legend of the Paymaster's Gold

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The Jackson family has moved into an old house on Commissioners Road near London, Ontario, and twins Sam and Eadie discover an exciting legend that involves their new home. Their neighbour, Ben, tells them that a skirmish in the War of 1812 took place right in front of their house, and that, during the fight, it is thought that an army paymaster lost a chest of gold that h ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published February 18th 2012 by Dundurn
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Brent Ellis
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dundurn, Toronto, 125 pages, $12.95

Children’s Literature

History, Geography, The War of 1812 and a Treasure Hunt! It’s all here in this latest offering from Jo Shawyer, a geographer with an abiding interest in local history who writes out of St John’s but is a native of Byron, near London, Ontario. The book is aimed at about a grade four to ten readership but even as an adult, I must admit that I found it fascinating. The story is set along the banks of
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a preface to doing this review, I must state that I am biased. The author is a friend of mine, and she used one of my photos for the book cover. I enjoyed her previous book and had been looking forward to this one with great anticipation!

The War of 1812 affected a number of areas of what are now the United States and Canada during the nearly three years that it lasted. One that saw a lot of action was the area from Michigan through southern Ontario, both on land and water. Trade restrictions
Hilda Chaulk
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hilda Chaulk Murray

For a fun way to learn about the War of 1812 particularly how the southern part of Ontario around London was affected, read historical geographer Jo Shawyer’s young adult novel, Legend of the Paymaster’s Gold.
Drawing on her first-hand knowledge of the area’s geography and lore, her research of the period, and her fertile imagination, she has crafted a first-rate detective novel.
It’s the beginning of summer. Sam and Eadie Jackson, twins, have just moved from their city neigh
Glen Curnoe
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is intended for young adults. Its timely arrival coincides with the 200th anniversary celebrations of the War of 1812. The story is based on the legend of the Paymaster’s gold which was alleged to have been lost during a skirmish on Commissioners road at historic Reservoir Hill, one of the highest elevations of London.

The author, Jo Shawyer grew up in the area and heard a about the legend in childhood. No doubt she would have explored the area herself. The legend must have piqued her i
Sheila Phipps
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Legend of the Paymaster's Gold.
Jo Shawyer's 'Legend of the Paymaster's Gold is very pertinent today as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, which seemed to be between Canadian settlers and American adventurers. Happily we prevailed over the marauders in the end.
The exciting story of possible treasure is cleverly told by running two themes concurrently. Events during the war as they impacted on the settlers on Commissioner's Road, London, Ontario, using a settler child's diary
Julia Mathieson
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young and old
Recommended to Julia by: A friend
The Legend of the Paymasters Gold is a charming story set in modern times but focusing on the Historic Battle of 1812. Twins Sam and Eadie have just moved to London, Ontario and are settling in to their new house and hoping to meet some friends. Ben becomes the first friend and he tells them a little about the history of the place including The Legend of the Paymasters Gold. Although two hundred years have passed, Sam is sure they can find the gold. They start their quest which takes them to the ...more
Karen Herzberg
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: preteens, teens and adults
Recommended to Karen by: a friend

The Legend of the Paymaster’s Gold is a perfect book for readers of all ages to enjoy a mystery and a romp set in Ontario, Canada. The time is both now and 200 years ago when British Canada and the United States were at war. Three teenagers embark on a summer’s adventure in locating rumoured gold --- a Paymaster’s gold ---left behind by the British during the war of 1812. The teens seek to find the treasure by solving the legend. In doing this, they and the reader learn a great deal about histo
Jennifer Rendell
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Our whole family read this book together and really enjoyed it. It was the right level for both our boys. It is well written to engage the interest of the reader and has a great interplay between the journal entries and the modern day story. It is nice to see boys and girls working together, but sometimes differently, so all contributed to their successes.

Our 11 year old said it was funny and exciting and some of the bits about the War of 1812 were scary!

Our nine year old said it was "Epic!. –
Aug 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Written at an elementary level and the characters are one dimensional. There is no cohesiveness with the old journal entries to present time, they're just slapped in randomly.
rated it it was ok
Feb 19, 2012
Jo Shawyer
rated it it was ok
Feb 21, 2012
Jenny Grainger
rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2012
Bruce Shawyer
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Mar 09, 2012
Dundurn Press
rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2012
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Jo Shawyer has been writing all her life as a university professor. Now retired, she has turned to writing fiction, creating exciting stories from her wealth of research material. She lives in St. John.