I needn't have worried. First, there were a couple of references to things that (I assume) happened in previous books, but it certainly was not necessary to have read them in order. Second, while the story is all told from Andi's perspective, there are great male characters involved too. Obviously their stories are shown through the lens of a 13 year old girl, but she isn't male-bashing in her thoughts.
The story takes place in and around Fresno shortly after the California Gold Rush. Andi has a friend, Jenny, visiting and they are planning a trip into the mountains with Andi's big brother Mitch. Another friend their age, Cory, is coming along as well, and they aim to escape the summer heat and do some gold panning.
Things go dreadfully wrong, Andi learns a lot about taking on responsibility and about what is really important. From an adult point of view, the plot was fairly predictable. My 13 and 11 year olds enjoyed trying to figure out what was going to happen next (and they did a pretty good job of it). But it wasn't so predictable that it wasn't still fun to read. Since I'm assuming it is primarily parents reading this review, and you aren't likely to be terribly concerned about me giving away the ending... I feel it is necessary to point out that two very minor characters die while ambushing of Mitch, and Mitch is severely wounded. (And the characters are 'bad guys')
We enjoyed the book, or at least everyone over age 5 did. Trina, uncharacteristically, chose to go play rather than listen. I think this whole series would make great reading for a tween girl this summer. If I had girls, I would seriously look at purchasing more. For my boys though, well, if I find some at used book sales, I'll probably pick them up.
And you can check out what my fellow crewmates have to say about The Trouble With Treasure at:
Any questions? I'd love to know what you would want to know in deciding whether or not this is something you want to purchase.
Disclaimer: As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive this book for free from Kregel Publications. The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review. It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise. If I don't like it, you'll hear that. And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family. For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.