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The Treasure of Maria Mamoun

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Twelve-year-old Maria lives a lonely, latchkey-kid's life in the Bronx. Her Lebanese mother is working two nursing jobs to keep them afloat, and Maria keeps her worries to herself, not wanting to be a burden. Then something happens one day between home and school that changes everything. Mom whisks them to an altogether different world on Martha's Vineyard, where she's fou ...more
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Farrar Straus Giroux
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Assigned reading for MLIS 7421: Multicultural Youth Literature.

I had high hopes for this one, but it was so boring I couldn't wait to get it over with. 3 stars because I feel like a young reader could find a little more enjoyment out of it — no more than that, because as someone who still loves MG fiction, this was not an enjoyable story for me.
Adrienne Gass
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was okay. It was well written with interesting descriptions but, I wanted more adventure. It had a good set up - treasure, Martha's Vinyard, old mansion, sailboat, a boy, a sick patriarch - but then it never really went anywhere. It's nice that Maria became friends with Mr. Ironwall and Paolo, but I never really felt emotionally invested in the characters or the story. I enjoyed the end when they finally (FINALLY!) stole the sailboat but then it was really anticlimactic. ...more
Natalia Turner
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
it was amazing
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review copy provided by NetGalley

Maria Mamoun (for pronunciation's sake, it rhymes with baboon) lives in a difficult neighborhood in the Bronx where she is mercilessly tormented by mean-spirited girls and her mother works multiple jobs to make ends meet. At least, that's how her life has been when this story begins. Then, her mother decides that she is going to take life by the horns and change all of that. She gets a job on Martha's Vineyard caring for an older man that recently suffered a stro
Ms. Yingling
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from

Maria and her single mother live in the Bronx. Her mother must work very hard to make ends meet, and Maria is often alone. This isn't too bad until the mean girls in her school target her. This is the impetus her mother needs to leave the city. She gets a job taking care of an elderly, infirm gentleman, Mr. Ironwall, on Martha's Vineyard. The two are given a small, cozy house, and the housekeeper brings them pans of sweet rolls and picnic lunches. Concerned that Maria won
Alexandra Mack
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Twelve-year-old Maria lives in the Bronx with her Lebanese mother who works two nursing jobs, often working 12 hours a day for six days a week. Maria keeps her worries to herself for the most part, but she has no friends in school and is always picked on by the "Barbies". One day, when she is on her way to school, they trash her project and push her around. When her mom finds out, she gets a new job in the country and moves them both to a cottage. Maria first thinks that she will make no friends ...more
Zach Powers
The Treasure of Maria Mamoun
Alternative to the Book Report
I would have students design logos for two characters within the book. I believe this would be a great book report for this particular book because all the characters are very well Crafted in this book so there would be many characters to choose from. The logos would be made up of five different elements that pertain to the characters throughout the story. The students would be expected to write a paragraph under each badge to explain the
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cvtc-kid-lit
While this book was chosen not necessarily by me but the award it was granted, I devoured this book.
It took only until this line "And though she did not look like a baboon, Maria Theresa Ramirez Mamoun was certainly not a beautiful princess." for me to fall in love with the narrative style of this story, it reminded me a lot of 'The Book Thief'.

The name of this book along with the cover necessarily wouldn't entice kids in my library to read this, it will need recommendation to thrive. One I am
Maria Rowe
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought the character and setting descriptions were great and I really started rooting for Maria! However, the details of sailing and sailing terms were a bit much for me, and I would have preferred a lot more adventure and a lot less build up. It felt like 95% of it was a build up so I felt a little let down by the hugely predictable ending. Also, the term “Bad Barbies” really got on my nerves. Overall I enjoyed this but it felt a bit long.
Alexis Zappitelli
Maria is a young girl who live sin the Bronx with a mother who works multiple jobs to try to keep the family able to live. This tells the story about how they then move to Martha's Vineyard, where Maria makes some cool discoveries many things that lead her to some adventures. The story was alright to read about but the illustrations added to help make her adventures visible and there to picture. ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes, a middle grade novel just hits the spot. This one tackles bullying, loss, illness, and family wrapped up in a hunt for pirate treasure. The setting of Martha’s Vineyard made me pine for the beaches of New England. I enjoyed it. Recommended for those seeking adventure!
I thought this book was pretty good. The only recommendation I have for the author is maybe to have a better ending
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sweet story. Although some aspects are unbelievable, such as the very happy ending and her near intuitive knowledge of sailing, the relationships Maria has with her peers are realistic and therefore make the book relatable to its audience.
May 08, 2016 rated it liked it

Michelle Chalfoun enters the world of juvenile fiction with the heartwarming "The Treasure of Maria Mamoun." Readers looking for a feel-good summer story can pick up Maria's story without hesitating. Maria is a Lebanese girl living in the Bronx with her overworked mother, Celeste. Maria has a rough time at school, especially with a certain group of vicious bullies nicknamed The Bad Barbies. When things come to a head between Maria and The Barbies, Celeste realizes that things have to change
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Maria and her mother live in the Bronx. Celeste has to work two jobs and Maria is home alone a lot. One day she can't avoid the mean girls at her school and Celeste decides things have to change. She takes a job taking care of Mr. Ironwell, a rich invalid on Martha's Vineyard. Maria and Celeste are given the cottage on the property to live in and Maria is given the responsibility of walking Mr. Ironwell's dog. While exploring the cottage, Maria finds a treasure map that she thinks will lead to a ...more
Merrilyn Tucker
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Maria is a 12-year-old growing up as a latchkey kid in New York City. She has no friends, is bullied by the "Bad Barbies," and spends most of her time alone since her single mother has to work two jobs to support them. When the story begins, it seems like a hopeless situation. After Maria is physically bullied by the girls, her mother realizes Maria cannot be raised in such dire conditions; so, the mother finds a job as a registered nurse on Martha's Vineyard and they move there forthwith. Slowl ...more
Anita McDivitt Barrios
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, middle-grade
Picked this jewel up in the library and we were not disappointed. My 15-year-old daughter loved it!

Maria goes from being a concrete-bound NYC kid to a free-range chicken (oops! child) on Martha's Vineyard, where her mom, a Lebanese immigrant working as a live-in nurse to an eccentric, grumpy old man in a mansion, assumes nothing can hurt Maria, even when left alone for days on end.

She's wrong. Maria quickly finds a treasure map in the loft attic of their guest house, and the story of a pirate wh
Debbie Tanner
I thought this book was terrific! The main character, Maria, lives with her single mom in a small apartment in NYC. Maria doesn't have many friends and Maria's mom works a lot to try to support the two of them. They don't have any family close by so they are really on their own. When Maria gets bullied by some girls from her school, Maria's mom decides they need to make a change, so she takes a job as a private nurse for a very rich man out on Martha's Vineyard. Maria isn't so sure that this is ...more
Heather Brown
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Finally, a book with a Lebanese family! Maria and her mom leave the Bronx for Martha's Vineyard after Maria is violently bullied. With her mom working as the nurse for a rich old man, Maria doesn't have much to do at their new home--or does she? Maria finds a map that seems to show the way to a treasure. She might find it with the help of some unlikely friends. Brutus (the dog), Paolo (a grumpy young man), and even Mr Ironwell(the old man himself) become a new source of help and family for Maria ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, read-2016
*I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley*

This was an enjoyable realistic fiction. Hand this to your kiddos who enjoy an adventure with (view spoiler) There are some tough topics (family situations, bullies) but for the most part this is not a heavy book. Maria is not a perfect protagonist, but she's generally a good kid, and you'll enjoy reading about her explorations of her new home, and making new frie
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

Excellent adventure/mystery read for middle grade children! Hidden treasure maps, pirate ships, a mysterious mansion. What more could you want?

Maria Mamoun doesn't know how much more she can take of the Bad Barbies, a group of girl bullies intent on making her life miserable. When they finally go too far, Maria's mom, Celeste, takes a new job caring for a bedridden man on Martha's Vineyard. With the bullies far behind her, Maria begi
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very charming story about a girl from the Bronx who moves to Martha's Vineyard and engages in a bit of a historical mystery of the island. Maria, the main character, is eager to learn more and take on new challenges that she missed out on being alone and by herself in the city. I am not sure how one would use this for social studies instruction, but I think it's a great book for middle schoolers to have in a classroom library. ...more
Lindy MacLaine
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved learning about the inside of Maria's heritage as she interfaced with the typical challenges of moving suddenly as a child. The new place (Nantucket Island) brings a mystery to be solved, friends to be mad, and challenges to be overcome. ...more
T.J. Burns
I received a copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it liked it
A good story but needed more of the adventure and less of the build up.
Twelve-year-old Maria Mamoun and her mother leave their Bronx home after a frightening incident with some neighbor girls. Their new surroundings couldn't be more different. They move to a cottage on an island near Martha's Vineyard and interact with the owner of the Ironwood Estate. As it turns out, the elderly man for whom her mother becomes the caretaker has had an interesting life filled with great wealth, fame, and intrigue. He even had a movie career. But at this point in his life, he's giv ...more
Laura Phelps
rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2017
rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2017
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