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If You Find This

Matthew Baker
"Three boys, two grandpas, a tree, a map and some hidden treasure... Let the adventure begin"
If You Find This – picture

Three boys, two grandpas, a tree, a map and some hidden treasure… Let the adventure begin.

Eleven-year-old Nicholas Funes knows he’s weird. He plays the violin far too well to be cool, he collects square roots and prime numbers and, weirdest of all, he talks to a tree who he believes is his brother. Plus, he doesn’t have all that many friends. But even he is about to struggle with how strange his life is about to get. His long-lost and never-spoken-about Grandfather Rose turns up on Nicholas’s doorstep one day, fresh out of a lifetime’s prison sentence and suffering from dementia.

Curious about this grandfather he’s never known, Nicholas tries to unravel Grandfather Rose’s stories. In particular, one about the family treasure that he hid years ago and that will be the solution to all their rather pressing financial woes. Because his mother needs to sell their house, and if they leave the house, they’ll leave Nicholas’s brother behind. And Nicholas is desperate to keep what little family he has together. With the help of two extremely unlikely allies, Nicholas must unwrap the secrets of his family’s past in order to give them a shot at a future.

Publication Date: Thu 2 Apr 2015
ISBN Paperback: 9781471404528
ISBN Ebook: 9781471404535

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Author

Matthew Baker

Matthew Baker was born in Michigan. He grew up in a house in the woods where the trees were as tall as towers. He and the neighbor kids ran wild through the woods with rusted machetes and homemade spears. One summer they built a trap-dug a pit in the ground, tossed stinkweed from the creek into the bottom of the pit, then covered the hole with sticks and leaves, and ran off to wait for something to fall in-they were hoping to catch some sort of monster. Instead, they caught a parent. (Some might argue that's the same thing.) IF YOU FIND THIS is his first novel. Visit him online at www.mwektaehtabr.com.

Extract

The breakout ended up being more of a kidnapping. Grandpa Rose was confused again. He didn't remember me, was using words so bad that they can't be written, swearing unwritable. "What's this you're plotting?" Grandpa Rose shouted. "Quiet, Grandpa Rose," I hissed. In the room next door, someone shouted something about sewers. I emptied my backpack, shaking out the disguise. A flowery shawl. A floppy straw hat. A wig of curly white hair that I had worn for a play, once, playing the part of a dead composer. I yanked the wig over his hair, yanked the hat over his wig, wrapped him in the shawl. "You devil," Grandpa Rose muttered. "You agreed to this idea!" I hissed. I tossed his suitcase out the window, boosted him through. He slipped, tripped, fell onto the concrete. His palms were scraped and bloody when I helped him stand. Jordan Odom was gaping at us through the window of room #37. I gathered the suitcase, then led Grandpa Rose off toward the ghosthouse. We moved at about half a mile per hour. Grandpa Rose hunched over the cane, knuckles white, panting. He seemed < confused now. He yanked the hat lower onto the wig, as the shawl snapped about in the wind. I could smell cookouts-grilling meats-and someone burning leaves. The road wound through swaying maple trees, passing squat houses. High school kids loading the trunk of a car. Middle school kids teetering across a plank of wood, leaping from a treehouse into gold leaves piled below. Elementary school kids sitting in a driveway, ripping heads from dolls, tossing the heads into the grass, singing a song about babies. No one's as weird as elementary schoolers. "We're being tailed," Grandpa Rose muttered. "What?" I whispered. The suitcase whacked against my knees. I glanced backward. An old man was hobbling after us. It was Jordan's grandfather. Jordan was dragging him by his arms.