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The Story of the Treasure Seekers

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Edith Nesbit (1958 - 1924) was an English poet and author known for her children's books. She is credited with writing over 60 books for children. Nesbit was co-founder of the Fabian Society, which later became the Labour Party. Nesbit wrote about the real world not a fantasyland. She invented the children's adventure story. The Story of the Treasure Seekers tells the stor Edith Nesbit (1958 - 1924) was an English poet and author known for her children's books. She is credited with writing over 60 books for children. Nesbit was co-founder of the Fabian Society, which later became the Labour Party. Nesbit wrote about the real world not a fantasyland. She invented the children's adventure story. The Story of the Treasure Seekers tells the story of the Bastable children and how they try to regain the family fortune with little success but a great deal of humor. Their adventures begin when they dig for treasure in the garden. The story is recommended for children grades 3 to 6.


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Edith Nesbit (1958 - 1924) was an English poet and author known for her children's books. She is credited with writing over 60 books for children. Nesbit was co-founder of the Fabian Society, which later became the Labour Party. Nesbit wrote about the real world not a fantasyland. She invented the children's adventure story. The Story of the Treasure Seekers tells the stor Edith Nesbit (1958 - 1924) was an English poet and author known for her children's books. She is credited with writing over 60 books for children. Nesbit was co-founder of the Fabian Society, which later became the Labour Party. Nesbit wrote about the real world not a fantasyland. She invented the children's adventure story. The Story of the Treasure Seekers tells the story of the Bastable children and how they try to regain the family fortune with little success but a great deal of humor. Their adventures begin when they dig for treasure in the garden. The story is recommended for children grades 3 to 6.

30 review for The Story of the Treasure Seekers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    E. Nesbit did not write for children. Oh, yes, I quite enjoyed Five Children and It and The Phoenix and the Carpet and so on when I was a child; they're magnificent children's books. But listening to the Librivox recording of The Story of the Treasure-Seekers makes it very, very clear that the magnificent Ms. Nesbit had very firmly in mind the parents who would be reading the books aloud at bedtime. One beautiful example is a scene in which an adult abruptly rises from his seat and walks away to E. Nesbit did not write for children. Oh, yes, I quite enjoyed Five Children and It and The Phoenix and the Carpet and so on when I was a child; they're magnificent children's books. But listening to the Librivox recording of The Story of the Treasure-Seekers makes it very, very clear that the magnificent Ms. Nesbit had very firmly in mind the parents who would be reading the books aloud at bedtime. One beautiful example is a scene in which an adult abruptly rises from his seat and walks away to stand at the window with his back to the children in his office. The narrator says he believes the man was trying to conceal his emotions. Which is very true; the emotions, however, were not what the narrator thought. But the narrator, and any child reading or listening who has utter faith that all is just as the narrator perceives it, may believe one thing; the beautiful layer of comedy in the moment is reserved for the grown-ups. Thank goodness we get something; in almost everything else the children are the fortunate ones. The Bastable children possess an innocence which I'm very much afraid is impossible for even a twelve-year-old today. I've seen comments out there amongst the reviews about "imperialist overtones" and casual racism. Thing is, though, this was first published in 1899, and like it or not the world was a very different place then, and as I read it even what could be considered racist has an innocence that keeps it from being offensive. The children are given to understand that a visitor is an Indian, and – fed on adventure novels – assume Amerind, and ask him about beavers. He's India Indian, though, and has no information on such creatures. I honestly don't see how the children's honest excitement about and sympathy for someone from far away who describes himself as a poor broken-down fellow (which they also take literally) can be translated as racist, especially in 1899, and the one extremely unfortunate exclamation that can be (the same as is found in L.M. Montgomery's A Tangled Web) was, sadly, a much more common epithet a hundred years ago. These are the sort of fictional children that make me despair over today's kids: imaginative, well-read, well-spoken, thoughtful under the childish self-centeredness, and self-sufficient; they make today's kids (American, at least) look like Neanderthals. They're not perfect little angels – E. Nesbit was never stupid. But they do set a ludicrously high standard. Dora, the eldest (at 13 or 14?), comes off as a bit of a prig (though this is dealt with in a later chapter in such a way that it made me cry), desperately trying to maintain some moral high ground in a horde of siblings who think it would be absolutely smashing if there were still highwaymen on the heath – or, even better, if they could be highwaymen on the heath. Her objection is that it's "wrong" – as in illegal and people hang for such things, not so much as in the victims of the highwaymen didn't think it was quite so smashing. The again-innocent bloodthirstiness of the kids is remarkable, and just fun. Oswald, the oldest boy at 12 and (you might guess, or you might not!) the narrator of the story, is very nearly as brave and honourable as he wants to appear, and very straightforward. It's rather lovely to see him reluctantly, realistically doing the right thing throughout the book, proceeding quietly and alone when practical – the older ones all do that, shouldering responsibility and striving to make things right when they go wrong. The fierce affection and loyalty among the siblings is, like their father's poverty and worries, never explicitly stated: it doesn't have to be. It is shown, not told. The four younger children – Noel and Alice and H.O. and Dickie, ranging down to I believe six years old – are every one expected by their elder siblings to be just as sharp and responsible and willing and able to contribute as Oswald and Dora. Some allowances are made for their extreme youth, but for the most part they are equal partners in the treasure-seeking, receiving an equal share in any profits – though sometimes excused by protective siblings from punishments. I don't remember E. Nesbit reducing me to tears in the past. This did. And, yes, I laughed out loud. I missed the magic element of some of the other books – but only at first. It didn't take long to realize that most of the magic of E. Nesbit's writing is actually in E. Nesbit's writing. To that point: "No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond." ~ C.S. Lewis. I look forward to reading E. Nesbit when I'm fifty, and beyond.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sanjay Gautam

    The story of Treasure Seekers - is a story of six children, who really admire Kipling and Dickens, go through various adventures to earn money. The reason behind their adventures is the poor financial condition of the family. The story is meant for children; for me - it was not interesting and, at times, was very boring. And moreover, there is no treasure hunt in the book, though initially the children start as treasure seekers. I was dragging the book and somehow finished it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    This book is more like a group of short stories than it is a novel. Each chapter a different tale about how this group of children tries to restore their family's fortune, or position would be the better word. Each story borders on the absurd, but I think Nesbit was more interested in her message than believability. This one falls short of The Railway Children. 3.5 stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Beaumont

    Unlike many of E. Nesbit's books, this one has no magic in it, but it's great fun anyway. It's the first of three books about the adventures of the six Bastable children. Simon Prebble does a fine job of narrating this audiobook.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    An excellent children’s chapter book. Lots of humor, very creative ideas. I read with my youngest, by the end of the book my entire family had heard enough bits and pieces of my reading to have an opinion of Oswald who is one of the more colorful Bastable children. If I tell anything more about Oswald it will give the story away. Before I get too far, there is one very unfortunate reference of the n word in the last chapter and it was most certainly used pejoratively. This book was written in 189 An excellent children’s chapter book. Lots of humor, very creative ideas. I read with my youngest, by the end of the book my entire family had heard enough bits and pieces of my reading to have an opinion of Oswald who is one of the more colorful Bastable children. If I tell anything more about Oswald it will give the story away. Before I get too far, there is one very unfortunate reference of the n word in the last chapter and it was most certainly used pejoratively. This book was written in 1898 and there is some evidence of racism that existed at the time. With that caveat the Treasure Seekers holds up pretty well, there are some contemporary references to material goods and food and oddities that I was unfamiliar with, but the amount of laugh out loud humor was refreshing. Essentially the book revolves around the six Bastable children who are being raised by their recently widowed father. He often works late and so the children have the run of the roost at home where most of their adventures take place. Their minor mischief and plans to become wealthy again land them in some sticky situations.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Moonlight Reader

    Utterly charming. As I said above, I thought this book was charming & I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Having two kids of my own, I had had some experience with E. Nesbit - most particularly, we had listened to an audiobook of The Railway Children years ago on a driving trip. In some ways, I think I enjoyed it more than kids did. Nesbit's stories are so rooted in time and place - childhood in Victorian England - that reading them is a window into the past. It amazes me how much more freedom ch Utterly charming. As I said above, I thought this book was charming & I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Having two kids of my own, I had had some experience with E. Nesbit - most particularly, we had listened to an audiobook of The Railway Children years ago on a driving trip. In some ways, I think I enjoyed it more than kids did. Nesbit's stories are so rooted in time and place - childhood in Victorian England - that reading them is a window into the past. It amazes me how much more freedom children had during a time that I (at least) think of as being quite restrictive than they have now. Teens and small children taking trains (alone) into London to visit with newspaper editors is probably an extreme that didn't really happen, but running wild on Hampstead Heath pretending to be highway men almost certainly did. There was a benign neglect to childhood that comes up again and again in the literature of the time - there were few institutions that exerted any influence at all over the lives of children. There is certainly an argument that kids were more resourceful and able to entertain themselves then than they are today. Of course, it is also true that poor children were exploited because there were no child labor protections - chimney sweeps could be as young as six years old. But, I digress. I thought that the first person perspective worked really well, and Nesbit hit the mark completely on voice. The way that the book described events was also convincing - "I have often thought that if the people who write books for children knew a little more it would be better. I shall not tell you anything about us except what I should like to know about if I was reading the story and you were writing it. Albert's uncle says I ought to have put this in the preface, but I never read prefaces, and it is not much good writing things just for people to skip. I wonder other authors have never thought of this." Nesbit was writing for both children and adults, I think. This book was accessible for children, but sufficiently charming to hold my attention as well. And the adventures were funny and delightful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This was a spare-time readaloud with the girls over several months, and it was a fun read. I started reading it because I saw that it was one of the inspirations for The Penderwicks, a series our whole family adores – and you can certainly see the parallels, including a surprisingly dry wit that holds up quite well a century later (see if you can guess, despite the his best efforts to stay objective, which child is narrating; it's one of the best running gags I have ever experienced in a novel). This was a spare-time readaloud with the girls over several months, and it was a fun read. I started reading it because I saw that it was one of the inspirations for The Penderwicks, a series our whole family adores – and you can certainly see the parallels, including a surprisingly dry wit that holds up quite well a century later (see if you can guess, despite the his best efforts to stay objective, which child is narrating; it's one of the best running gags I have ever experienced in a novel). It's not quite at the level of Nesbit's other works (for my money, The Railway Children is tops), and other, more famous children's novels from the period (such as The Secret Garden) are clearly better, too, but The Story of the Treasure Seekers is nevertheless worth more attention than it currently gets.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    One of my childhood favourites. A great story of a family in reduced circumstances and the most endearing children determined to restore their father's fortune. This book really captured my imagination as a child and again when I read it to my children. I still have the original copy that I purchased at a school book sale in 1981. A dear old friend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Plethora

    I love Nesbit's stories, they are such fun. This is the start of the Bastable children's adventures. In the forward information about Mrs. Nesbit it included a description of her that created a funny image in my mind of a young woman hopping over a fence slinging a corset bag full of smoking goods. She became the modern woman of her time, cut her hair short, threw away her corsets, reveled in physical fitness, walked a great deal and leaped over gates when she had a mind to. She wore Liberty dres I love Nesbit's stories, they are such fun. This is the start of the Bastable children's adventures. In the forward information about Mrs. Nesbit it included a description of her that created a funny image in my mind of a young woman hopping over a fence slinging a corset bag full of smoking goods. She became the modern woman of her time, cut her hair short, threw away her corsets, reveled in physical fitness, walked a great deal and leaped over gates when she had a mind to. She wore Liberty dresses and refused to adopt fashions that were uncomfortable. She smoked a great deal, carrying about an old cardboard corset box with a roller, tobacco, and papers so that she could make her own cigarettes. We follow the children though their adventures of trying to restore the Bastable family riches, as life hasn't been so grand since their mother died, no more fancy dinner parties and extra pocket change. Six children left to their own devices to determine the best way to make money can lead to some chuckles along the way as they various waters. They mean no harm in their adventures but do get into a few scraps along the way. My favorite adventure was when they decided to write a newspaper, you'll have to read the story to enjoy their newspaper.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Ebaid

    "نحن آسفون جداً. لم نفكر في أن أم ألبرت ستقلق عليه إذا احتجزناه فجأة. فنحن نحاول بجد ألا نفكر في أمهات الناس الآخرين, لأنه ليس لدينا أم" قصة الباحثون عن الكنز عن ستة أطفال يعلمون بأن والدهم تعرّض لخسارة في تجارته وأنه أصبح لديه القليل من المال, فيبدؤون بوضع الخطط لجمع المال لوالدهم, يبحثون عن الكنوز/المال بطرق شتّى. وفي ثنايا القصة يستعرض المؤلف براءة الأطفال في تعاملهم مع الواقع. ويبدو في النهاية أن بحثهم أثمر, ولكن بطريقة أخرى. "نحن الباحثون عن الكنز. بحثنا عن كنز, ووجدنا عم طيب" *** قرأت نسخة مخ "نحن آسفون جداً. لم نفكر في أن أم ألبرت ستقلق عليه إذا احتجزناه فجأة. فنحن نحاول بجد ألا نفكر في أمهات الناس الآخرين, لأنه ليس لدينا أم" قصة الباحثون عن الكنز عن ستة أطفال يعلمون بأن والدهم تعرّض لخسارة في تجارته وأنه أصبح لديه القليل من المال, فيبدؤون بوضع الخطط لجمع المال لوالدهم, يبحثون عن الكنوز/المال بطرق شتّى. وفي ثنايا القصة يستعرض المؤلف براءة الأطفال في تعاملهم مع الواقع. ويبدو في النهاية أن بحثهم أثمر, ولكن بطريقة أخرى. "نحن الباحثون عن الكنز. بحثنا عن كنز, ووجدنا عم طيب" *** قرأت نسخة مختصرة من القصة, لأن العمر أقصر من أن أحيط بكل الروايات الكلاسيكية السابقة التي فاتتني. وأنا أريد فعلاً أن ألم بهم.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I read this story as part of The Dead Writers Society Genre Challenge for January which was to read a book in the Action/Adventure/Travel genre and I chose this book. Told be a unnamed narrator (which honestly you figure out quite quickly) readers find out that the narrator is one of the Bastable Children. There are six Bastable children in all and I am not going to lie, sometimes i got a bit confused by them all. The children are: Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and H. O. We find out that the I read this story as part of The Dead Writers Society Genre Challenge for January which was to read a book in the Action/Adventure/Travel genre and I chose this book. Told be a unnamed narrator (which honestly you figure out quite quickly) readers find out that the narrator is one of the Bastable Children. There are six Bastable children in all and I am not going to lie, sometimes i got a bit confused by them all. The children are: Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and H. O. We find out that the family's fortunes have changed since the children's mother has died and it seems their father's business partner has absconded with the money from the business. So the entire book is the many schemes that the children hatch in order to get money to help out their father. Our narrator was quite funny and I loved Nesbit pretty much letting readers in on the joke of the narrator telling us throughout the whole story which of the children is narrating the story. Eventually readers are told it quite plainly and I snickered because frankly if you hadn't been paying attention I could maybe see how that one got by you. The various schemes the children try are clever and at the end there is some mischief that they get themselves into. I felt sorry for the children, but I loved about the book is that they have no idea how badly off they all are and when adults around them call them poor little beggars or are sad over their lack of a mother the narrator seems puzzled by it and proceeds to tell us that all of them are puzzled by it. The writing really does read as if a child is telling the story which was a welcomed surprise. I don't really like children's books that have a supposedly child narrator speaking as if he knows the Queen's English from birth and can understand everything that is being said by everyone. I didn't give this book five stars just because honestly I thought the story should have been over a lot quicker than this book. After about the fifth scheme I did find myself growing bored with the children's ideas to figure out how to find treasure. The setting in Victorian England was very well used. It was so weird to read about children having games of hunting in the forest and cooking up their game or just finding endless ways to amuse themselves. It made me smile a bit and reminisce about the games my brothers and friends played as children. I mean I used to be able to waste an entire afternoon in our backyard and we would play that it was a deep dark forest and we would be tracking animals in the bush and having to hide from attacks and the porch was our base of operations. We would then go into the house and make cheese sandwiches for lunch and pass that out and eat that with kool-aid, water, or any soda we had that my mother wouldn't yell at us for grabbing and using. Summer days as a child are long and magical and you wish that they would never end. So I definitely thank this book for causing me to smile and sigh and remember. The ending was the other reason why I didn't give it five stars. We have a happily ever after for the children (which I was happy about by the way) but thought it all a bit odd and the ending was very rushed. I know there are other books in this series so if I get some time I will take a peek at them.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shiloah

    I think I love everything Edith Nesbit wrote. She is a master children's storyteller.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tweedledum

    When I was growing up I loved E Nesbit's stories... Five children and it and the clever funny sequels to this story . Then, of course there was The Railway Children surely one of the most perfect children's stories that has ever been written. However try as I might I could not warm to the Bastable children. I must have had several attempts to read this as it certainly stood on my youthful bookcase for many years. I just thought those children were so silly and I hated the way Oswald kept pretend When I was growing up I loved E Nesbit's stories... Five children and it and the clever funny sequels to this story . Then, of course there was The Railway Children surely one of the most perfect children's stories that has ever been written. However try as I might I could not warm to the Bastable children. I must have had several attempts to read this as it certainly stood on my youthful bookcase for many years. I just thought those children were so silly and I hated the way Oswald kept pretending he wasn't the author, when he clearly was. It made no sense to me. I just could not get inside his head. Or maybe I just could not imagine the Bastable lives. Now I am revisiting E Nesbit and having belatedly learned something of her personal history I have warmed to Oswald Bastable and his family. This is Nesbit's great gift, to be able to write from the innocent child's perspective without demeaning or belittling. Many authors of course have copied Nesbit's style some brilliantly, some less so... But she was the forerunner, the trail blazer, and The Story of the Treasure Seekers was her first venture into that world. Now I can finally see what a cleverly crafted story this is. Of course the story is so far removed from the current experience of children I wonder if any children today could really appreciate it. But still it has a stood the test of time and deserves to be re-appraised. If I were reading this book to a child now I guess I would set the scene quite carefully first and acquire a few props... Certainly at the very least a three penny bit and a half a crown! But a tablecloth, an antimacassar and toasting fork would come in useful too. What children today could imagine living in a house effectively alone for days and weeks on end and left to their own devices apart from a rather slapdash and incompetent servant/housekeeper who is neither motherly nor a good cook, and a father who seems to have hidden himself away; with no radio, tv, computers or even toys to entertain them. And these children it must be remembered, have recently lost their mother. So to Dora and Oswald the eldest Bastables, fall the premature task of parenting and guiding their younger siblings. But their ideas about this... If shared today, would surely have all the neighbours immediately phoning up the NSPCC or social services and would certainly end in the family being split up and taken into care. One feels that today's precociously aware young readers would immediately shout neglect and ask why Oswald or Dora didn't phone Childline. Also, horror of horrors.... These children are not going to school. Yet these children, falling back on the own resources and ideas and still in the blessed innocence of childhood, where the boundary between fantasy and reality is still so fine one can easily pass from one to the other, not only manage to make their inedible meals palatable by pretending they are hiding out from Roundheads in the New Forest, but do indeed, through their innocence and ignorance end up restoring the family fortunes after many mishaps along the way. I am glad to have finally come to appreciate this story in all its tender joie de vivre and undercurrent of loss. Life must go on. The Bastable father, that distant, sad, grieving, depressed and lonely man, little knows that his children are literally to be his salvation. On reflection a great story, one that cannot truly be understood or appreciated for its worth until the end is reached.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Oh, how I adored this book! I laughed aloud in so many parts and these characters, especially Oswald the great, felt as familiar as my own children. The funny cadence of writing that was sort of spur of the moment/top of the head thoughts and relaying of events, was just perfect. The realizations that came to me when reading were subtle, but I still feel them several days later. The story of the poor Bastable children seeking to better their fortune is something that kids can relate to, wanting t Oh, how I adored this book! I laughed aloud in so many parts and these characters, especially Oswald the great, felt as familiar as my own children. The funny cadence of writing that was sort of spur of the moment/top of the head thoughts and relaying of events, was just perfect. The realizations that came to me when reading were subtle, but I still feel them several days later. The story of the poor Bastable children seeking to better their fortune is something that kids can relate to, wanting to help their family. And the friendship that is so strong between the children, how they unequivocally accept and allow for each other's differences/quirks is just beautiful. I see so much of my kids in these characters, the sweet and original way they look at life, the way they find magic. This is one of my favorite children's books, truly unique, and will remain in my top shelf library collection and reread many, many times.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Brand

    I tried reading this once as a child, maybe about the age of seven and eight, and put it down because I found it very bizarre. I can now see that it's the kind of book which is intended to be read to children by their parents as there are plenty of amusing comments which only adults would understand (e.g. finding the coins in the garden). It's an excellent book, written in the way of many books from that time - each chapter has its own plot, meaning that you can read one chapter every night befo I tried reading this once as a child, maybe about the age of seven and eight, and put it down because I found it very bizarre. I can now see that it's the kind of book which is intended to be read to children by their parents as there are plenty of amusing comments which only adults would understand (e.g. finding the coins in the garden). It's an excellent book, written in the way of many books from that time - each chapter has its own plot, meaning that you can read one chapter every night before you go to bed, or during your lunchbreak. A truly sweet book which I adored mainly because of the unique narrative - I haven't read many children's books from this time period written in first person from the perspective of a child before, and I think that it's a technique which works very well. I'll be keeping this book to read to my kids (when I have kids). 10/10

  16. 5 out of 5

    ᴡᴡᴡ.Cassandra_Lê.18sexy.pw

    I read this many years ago, that I don't even remember what is it about. I just remember that this was one of the first adventure book I read and it was very interesting. I recall that I like it. Turns out this influence J.K.Rowling to write Harry Potter

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jo Coleman

    I liked this a lot as a nipper, as I was a big fan of books about families of many siblings who wrote their own newspapers and so forth. I picked it up by chance a few days ago and realised that it was set in Lewisham, so I read the whole thing again and found it to be great fun. As a child I don't think I'd paid any attention to the story going on in the background, where the Bastables' father is struggling immensely with sudden poverty and widowhood (they have to cut down to just one servant!) I liked this a lot as a nipper, as I was a big fan of books about families of many siblings who wrote their own newspapers and so forth. I picked it up by chance a few days ago and realised that it was set in Lewisham, so I read the whole thing again and found it to be great fun. As a child I don't think I'd paid any attention to the story going on in the background, where the Bastables' father is struggling immensely with sudden poverty and widowhood (they have to cut down to just one servant!). The book has a nice mixture of the children being concerned that things are not as they ought to be, and having a lovely time concocting their own imaginary play instead of having to go to school. I got a bit tired of Oswald the narrator before the end, always so keen to point out his noble and gentlemanly behaviour and to scoff at girls, and the reversal in their fortunes at the end was a bit daft. However, the book is still very funny and I still picture annoying little brother H.O. (trying to read two different books at the same time, one with each eye, so his brother couldn't have them) as looking exactly like my own little brother. I might not recommend this to any small children of my acquaintance due to aforementioned scoffing at girls and a surprise use of the n-word! Oh, Victorians.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tocotin

    The "Five Children and It" trilogy is among my favorite childhood books, so before rereading them I decided to try this one. I have to say that I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected, probably because it has no magic at all and the characters of the children seem a bit too stereotypical - the eldest sister who acts as mother to her orphaned siblings, the sensitive poet, the brave and chivalrous boys, and so on. All right, it's not the author's fault that she didn't include supernatural elements The "Five Children and It" trilogy is among my favorite childhood books, so before rereading them I decided to try this one. I have to say that I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected, probably because it has no magic at all and the characters of the children seem a bit too stereotypical - the eldest sister who acts as mother to her orphaned siblings, the sensitive poet, the brave and chivalrous boys, and so on. All right, it's not the author's fault that she didn't include supernatural elements, and that all the efforts of the children to restore "the fallen fortunes of the house of Bastables" are of the most practical kind, but I still think that there was way too much moralizing, forced cutesy (which makes this book appear more dated than the Psammead series, in my opinion), consciously overplayed misogyny (the narrator is a boy), and quite a bit of racial prejudice as well (the character of Mr Rosenberg, and also the stunning words of the "Indian uncle" - if you read this you know what I'm talking about) for my taste. The ending was also a moral lesson, and on the heavy side. What I liked was the way how the narrator tries to conceal his identity, but constantly reveals it, not only through the (very skillfully done) switches between first and third person, but also by praising his own actions when pretending not to - funny and interesting. I don't know if I'm going to try "The Wouldbegoods" however. Maybe I'll go straight to the Psammead series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I was prompted to reread this wonderful children's classic (and a favorite of my childhood) by an essay by Michael Dirda, the Washington Post book reviewer. The story and characters remain fresh, humorous and honest as the Bastable children seek to restore their " family fortunes" with a series of creative ideas.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Wonderful story! Great read aloud for children. Oswald cracked me up with his faulty third- person technique. The picture on the front of this edition is dreadful. Bet it keeps lots of folks away. I'm sure Oswald does not have buck teeth and he is much too polite to say if his siblings do. Oswald knows what it means to be a gentleman.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit is a classic children's book from years ago. But it had a timeless quality to it and I enjoyed it so much. The voice was wonderful, the characters, children who are conspiring to "restore the fortunes of their fallen house", were delightful. Their adventures were both touching and funny and I laughed out loud several times. A great relaxing read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Thoburn

    Another book by Nesbit about children and how they try to solve problems and find adventure along the way. All of her stories remind me of my childhood and my own adventures (though they were not quite as exciting)and I believe that is the top reason I enjoy them so much.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Hayes

    I had been curious about this book ever since first reading The Magician's Nephew about 55 years ago, when C.S. Lewis wrote, "In those days Mr Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road." I knew about Sherlock Holmes and Baker Street, but the Bastables I had never heard of, though Lewis clearly assumed that his readers, or most of them had. So it seemed that an important part of my literary education was missing. It also said I had been curious about this book ever since first reading The Magician's Nephew about 55 years ago, when C.S. Lewis wrote, "In those days Mr Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road." I knew about Sherlock Holmes and Baker Street, but the Bastables I had never heard of, though Lewis clearly assumed that his readers, or most of them had. So it seemed that an important part of my literary education was missing. It also said something about the "implied reader" of Lewis's Narnia stories (see here for more about the implied reader: Children’s Literature | Khanya. In the story the Bastable family has come down in the world, so the six Bastable children come up with various schemes to restore the family fortunes. Most of their schemes lead them into a certain amount of difficulty, but in most cases the difficulty is resolved, usually in their favour, though not to the extent that it would restore the family fortunes. In the edition I read there was an introduction with a brief biography of Edith Nesbit and an account of her work. It notes that she and her husband Hubert Bland were Fabian socialists, Though many of the Fabian socialists were middle-class I was rather surprised that Nesbit wrote such a middle-class book. Certainly her implied readers were middle class, and though the family is reduced to having only one servant, they do have a servant, whom the children rather despise for her lack of competence and skill in cooking and cleaning. At no point does Nesbit indicate that she does not share the view of the narrator (one of the children, who is 12 years old at the time of the story), though she does somewhat satirise his relations with his siblings and others. The middle-class characters are human, the maid rather less so. Also, the restoration of the family fortunes is seen, by both children and adults, almost entirely in capitalist terms. The primary need is capital, to make the father's business prosper. Perhaps this was dictated by the publishing world of the time. Perhaps the implied readers were middle class because at the time it was only the middle class who would buy books for their children, and therefore that would be the only kind of book that publishers of the time would accept. But even so, Dickens managed to get several books published that show more sympathy for the working-class poor than Nesbit seems to. Dickens does try to conscientise his readers, Nesbit does not, unless I'm missing something.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anton

    A wonderful surprise of a book — recommended for my daughter by a friend, yet I ended up devouring it with much joy. A story of six English siblings setting out to restore their family's “lost fortunes” after the passing of their Mother, and their Father's been cheated out of business by a partner. Told with childish naivety and bluntness, but behind it all you can see “adult” implications, especially as the grown-ups are being touched by the sincerity of the young ones. Fun, sometimes sad, and A wonderful surprise of a book — recommended for my daughter by a friend, yet I ended up devouring it with much joy. A story of six English siblings setting out to restore their family's “lost fortunes” after the passing of their Mother, and their Father's been cheated out of business by a partner. Told with childish naivety and bluntness, but behind it all you can see “adult” implications, especially as the grown-ups are being touched by the sincerity of the young ones. Fun, sometimes sad, and heart-warming all over. The “writer” starts off saying that they won't disclose which of the siblings they are until the end of the book, but of course it becomes obvious from the second page or so :) Great book, highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Garrett

    A bunch of once-well-off children learn the harsh realities of capitalism. Luckily they're not completely spoiled jerks so everything works out perfectly for them--and I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that this is a work of fiction and that it was written in 1899.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    Delightful! One of our favorite read alouds!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carol Arnold

    I may be an old granny but I still love to read children's books! This one was very delightful and I'm continuing the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marie S.

    Not groundbreaking, but enjoyable and funny. The only thing that I didn't like was the whole: "I'm not telling you which one of the children I am and you have to guess".

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rasha | رشا

    استمتعت بها جداً، راح أقرأ أكثر لنبست ملاحظة، اكتشفت شخصية الراوي من قبل لا يكشف نفسه

  30. 4 out of 5

    Francisca

    It was a wet day, I remember, and mutton hash for dinner—very tough with pale gravy with lumps in it. I think the others would have left a good deal on the sides of their plates, although they know better, only Oswald said it was a savoury stew made of the red deer that Edward shot. So then we were the Children of the New Forest, and the mutton tasted much better. No one in the New Forest minds venison being tough and the gravy pale. One of the few Nesbit books without any magical creatures or w It was a wet day, I remember, and mutton hash for dinner—very tough with pale gravy with lumps in it. I think the others would have left a good deal on the sides of their plates, although they know better, only Oswald said it was a savoury stew made of the red deer that Edward shot. So then we were the Children of the New Forest, and the mutton tasted much better. No one in the New Forest minds venison being tough and the gravy pale. One of the few Nesbit books without any magical creatures or wishing objects, this follows the Bastable children as they try to help their father "restore the fortune of the Bastable house", albeit with some rather imaginative, out of the box approaches. It's the first Nesbit book I've read that felt a bit too dated (there's a lot of classism, sexism, and antisemitism bubbling underneath). She uses an interesting conceit, which is to have an "anonymous" narrator who reveals himself almost immediately; at times there's some pathos in the tension between his attempts to be objective and desire to tell his own version of the story, but most of the time it's a bit distracting. The best bits are when we see through the children's eyes, but at a wide enough angle that we can tell what the adults are thinking too, making the naivete and cluelessness of the Bastables more endearing. The flaws, however, didn't really help overcome the better bits; I ended up missing the psammead and the phoenix!

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