The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

Carlo has worked for his merchant uncle since his parents died. However, he spends so much time day dreaming that he makes one too many mistakes on the job, and his uncle runs out of patience. Presenting Carlo with a bag of coins, he sends the young man to Campania. Carlo believes this is his opportunity to follow the treasure map he found in an old book he recently purchased, and makes his way to a Middle Eastern seaport purported to be the starting point on the Road of Golden Dreams. Once there, a lazy camel puller convinces Carlo to hire him and his assistant (and provides a fair share of the humorous element of the story). But Carlo is in for a surprise. The assistant is really a young woman, Shira, who has her own reason for making the journey: to avenge the deaths of her parents.

Along the way, the mysterious bookseller who originally sold Carlo the volume magically appears as different personas to provide inspiration and show the way. As the trek nears its end, Carlo learns that treasure can take many forms, and the monetary kind is not always the most desirable. And the journey itself has value; for, as the mentor tells him when he learns what Carlo is looking for, "What a shame if you should find it. Your quest would be over. And then what? As if a fortune could make up for the bother of gaining it. No, no, my lad: The journey is the treasure." This masterpiece is Lloyd Alexander's last novel, and a fitting tribute to a master. Recommended for ages 10-13.

Recommended by Barbara Karp, Librarian

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