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Buried Treasure: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about buried treasure?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to buried treasure. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about buried treasure.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about buried treasure, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Case Closed #1: Mystery in the Mansion to popular sellers like Holes to some of our favorite hidden gems like Russell and the Lost Treasure.

We hope this list of kids books about buried treasure can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Notorious
Written by Gordon Korman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A funny, suspenseful mystery and unlikely friendship story from New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman—perfect for fans of Swindle and Ungifted.

Keenan has lived all over the world but nowhere quite as strange as Centerlight Island, which is split between the United States and Canada. The only thing weirder than Centerlight itself is his neighbor Zarabeth, aka ZeeBee.

ZeeBee is obsessed with the island’s history as a Prohibition-era smuggling route. She’s also convinced that her beloved dog, Barney, was murdered—something Keenan finds pretty hard to believe.

Just about everyone on Centerlight is a suspect, because everyone hated Barney, a huge dog—part mastiff, part rottweiler—notorious for terrorizing the community. Accompanied by a mild-mannered new dog who is practically Barney’s opposite, ZeeBee enlists Keenan’s help to solve the mystery.

As Keenan and ZeeBee start to unravel the clues, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that dates back to Centerlight’s gangster past. The good news is that Keenan may have found the best friend he’s ever had. The bad news is that the stakes are sky-high.

And now someone is after them. . . .

Pirate Nell's Tale to Tell: A Storybook Adventure
Written by Helen Docherty & illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the author/illustrator team behind The Snatchabook comes a book-filled adventure on the high seas!

Nell is finally a pirate!

And she has her trusty Pirate’s Almanac to help her sail the seas, even if Captain Gnash doesn’t like books on his ship. But when the journey gets rough and the captain is in trouble, it’s Nell and all her pirate knowledge that saves the day and leads them to the greatest buried treasure of all…

Russell and the Lost Treasure
Written & illustrated by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Russell the sheep is determined to find the Lost Treasure of Frogsbottom. Equipped with his Super-Duper Treasure Seeker, Russell searches high and low, up and down, and in and out. Nothing! Finally, Russell finds an old chest! Could it be? Discover how Russell finds the most valuable treasure of all.

The Treasure of Maria Mamoun
Written by Michell Chalfoun
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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 found a job on a seaside estate. While the mysterious bedridden owner―a former film director―keeps her mother busy, Maria has the freedom to explore a place she thought could only exist in the movies. Making friends with a troublesome local character, Maria finds an old sailboat that could make a marvelous clubhouse. She also stumbles upon an old map that she is sure will lead to pirate’s plunder―but golden treasure may not be the most valuable thing she discovers for herself this special summer.

Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Indiana Jones and The Goonies, the next installment of this comedic adventure series sends young Addison and his friends on the run from fortune hunters linked to an ancient Cooke clan curse. Soon after the disappearance of his aunt Delia and uncle Nigel outside the tomb of notorious Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, amateur archeologist Addison Cooke, his sister Molly, and their best friends Raj and Eddie, embark on another globe-trotting adventure. When a mysterious package arrives on Addison’s doorstep, criminals and fortune-hunters from around the world are suddenly hunting the Cooke family. Addison and team will travel to London, Paris, Istanbul, and beyond, on the run for their lives to unravel the mystery of the package, find out what really happened to Aunt Delia and Uncle Nigel, and come face-to-face with the terrifying Vrolock Malazar. But Addison and the team find there are dangerous secrets about his aunt and uncle’s pasts and hidden truths about the Cooke clan that must be uncovered. Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny is full of nonstop laughs and heart-pounding action, perfect for fans of James Patterson’s Treasure Hunters series, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, and Peter Lerangis’s Seven Wonders series.

  • Holes - Winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award! This book is a #1 New York Times bestselling, modern classic in which boys are forced to dig holes day in and day out. Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

  • Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince - Emily Windsnap ends up surrounded by pirates — and on a life-changing adventure — in the eighth installment of the New York Times best-selling series. Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s latest adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, they steal something even more valuable: Aaron. The pirate king’s eldest son takes Aaron captive, forcing him to help guide the pirates to the mythical Trident’s Treasure. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving Aaron. But while experiencing life on the waves, Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew — especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?

  • Case Closed #1: Mystery in the Mansion - Choose-your-own-adventure and puzzle-packed mystery collide in the first book in Lauren Magaziner’s new hilarious and high-stakes middle grade series in which the reader must help Carlos and his friends put together the clues to save his mom’s detective agency. In this wildly entertaining and interactive adventure, YOU pick which suspects to interview, which questions to ask, and which clues to follow. You pick the path—you crack the case! Carlos Serrano has never solved a mystery in his life. But when Carlos’s mom gets sick with a nasty flu on the morning of an investigation that could save her failing detective agency, Carlos takes on the case. With the help of his best friend, Eliza, and her wild little brother, Frank, Carlos must uncover a mystery involving an eccentric local millionaire, anonymous death threats, and a buried treasure. But with tricky riddles, cagey suspects, hidden secrets, and dozens of impossible choices, they need your help! Can you help Carlos and his friends find the culprit and save Las Pistas Detective Agency? Or will it be case closed?

  • Violet and the Mummy Mystery - Join amateur Sherlock Holmes, Violet Remy-Robinson as she tries to track down a stolen mummy in this novel that’s part of a delightful detective series that’s perfect for fans of Robin Stevens’s Wells & Wong mysteries!When Violet’s cousin Agnes and her Aunt Mathilde arrive from Cairo, Violet is delighted. Aunt Mathilde is a professor of Ancient Egyptology and has discovered a mummy that may be the key to revealing the secret location of Queen Nefertiti’s tomb. Violet can’t wait to find out more! So when the precious mummy is stolen from the British Museum, it’s a disaster. Who has managed to pull off this crime right under the security guards’ noses and where is the mummy now? It’s up to Violet and the gang to save the day!Beautifully designed and filled with gorgeous two-color illustrations throughout, everyone is bound to fall in love with Violet and the colorful characters that make up her world.

The Last Great Adventure of the PB & J Society
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When her best friend’s house is threatened with foreclosure, young Annie Jenkins is full of ideas to save the home: selling her appendix on eBay, winning the lottery, facing down the bankers . . . anything to keep Jason from moving. But Jason’s out-of-work dad blows up at the smallest things, and he’s not very happy with Annie’s interventions, which always seem to get them into more trouble. But when Annie tracks a lost treasure to Jason’s backyard, she’s sure the booty will be enough to save Jason’s family. Pirate treasure in the Midwest seems far-fetched, even to Annie, but it could be the answer to all their problems. Now all she has to do is convince Jason. As the two hunt for answers and the pressure gets to Jason and his family, Annie discovers that the best-laid plans aren’t always enough and there are worse things than moving away.

Treasure of the Golden Skull
Written by Chris Priestley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom-laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when they are told the school might close, our heroes realize being apart and somewhere else could be even worse! What starts out as a secret hunt for buried treasure quickly becomes weirder than Mildew and Sponge could ever have imagined. Who is that new boy who can get people to do whatever he wants just by looking them intently in the eye? (A hypnotist!) Why does that strange teacher have tattoos and a beard? (He’s really a pirate also looking for the treasure!) Could their heartbroken English teacher hold the key to this riddle of riddles? (Just maybe…) Most importantly, can Mildew and Sponge save the day – and the school – once more?

24 Hours in Nowhere
Written by Dusti Bowling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Welcome to Nowhere, Arizona, America’s least livable town. For Gus, a bright 13-year-old with dreams of escaping, life there is made even worse by bully Bo Taylor. When Bo tries to force Gus to eat a spiny cactus, Rossi Scott, one of the best racers in Nowhere, rescues him by relinquishing her prized dirt bike. Gus agrees to do anything to get it back—even if it means going into a deadly mine to hunt for gold. A gripping story about friendship, hope, and finding the power within ourselves.

Treasure Hunters
Written by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein & illustrated by Mark Shulman and Juliana Neufeld
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life and I Funny comes a brilliantly original new adventure series, jam-packed with action, humor, and heart! The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents mysteriously disappear, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They’ll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit by an evil treasure hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents—and find out if they’re still alive.

Race to the Bottom of the Sea
Written & illustrated by Lindsay Eagar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Can a clever young inventor uncover a ruthless pirate’s heart of gold? Thrilling sea adventure takes on a hint of steampunk in the second book by the author of the acclaimed Hour of the Bees. When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him? Will Fidelia be able to master the perils of the ocean without her parents — and piece together the mystery of Merrick the Monstrous before it’s too late?

  • The Trail of the Ghost Bunny - Kelsey and her family have moved into an abandoned B&B that they’re fixing up. It’s a beautiful place and it even comes with its own bunny…but it also seems to come with its own ghost. With the help of their new bunny friend, Kelsey and her friends and CCSC clubmates Becca and Leo investigate the true source of the mysterious on-goings at the B&B. This story closes out the series in a satisfying way, and includes a very light ghost plot that feels seasonally appropriate. And animal fans will be thrilled to see plenty new animal capers, including the return of the lovable dogs from book 5, Dog-Gone Danger.

  • Doomwyte - On a moonless night, two rats follow hypnotic lights into the forest, never to be seen again. Such is the power of the Doomwytes, sinister ravens led by the deadly Korvus Skurr. And when the young mouse Bisky persuades the creatures of Redwall to go in search of a fabled treasure, hidden long ago by one of the abbey’s most notorious thieves, they do not suspect Skurr and his ravens will be vying for the same prize. . . .

  • Attack of the Zombie Mermaids - Captain Banana Beard thinks that finding Neptune’s Trident will bring him great fortune. But the treasure carries a curse! What will the Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates do when they come face to face with zombie mermaids?

  • The Treasure of Mad Doc Magee - A rip-roaring puzzle box of an adventure about grit, guts, and gold, from Elinor Teele, the acclaimed author of The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin. The small, run-down town of Eden is the only place Jenny Burns has ever called home. The roots of the trees are in her bones, the air of the mountains is in her breath, the lakes and rivers are in her blood. And that’s why, when her father loses his job and tells Jenny that they may have to move on from Eden, she knows she can’t let that happen. The fever of New Zealand’s gold rush still runs in the veins of Eden, and everyone knows the legend of Doc Magee: how he found the largest gold nugget anyone had ever seen and hid it somewhere in the hills before he disappeared. Jenny and her best friend, Pandora, know that if they can find the gold, it’ll solve all their problems. But the way is fraught with mysteries, riddles, and danger—and those are just the threats they know about. Before her quest is over, Jenny will have to face challenges from within as well as from without.

Secret of Shadow Ranch #5
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy is looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch, but she soon finds herself involved in solving a baffling mystery.

The Quest of the Missing Map
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Prompted by the concerns of a young child, Nancy investigates a small studio on the Chatham estate. She discovers that there is a connection between the mysterious occurrences at Ship Cottage and her search for a treasure island. With only half of a map, Nancy sets out to find the man who possess the rest of the map that will pinpoint the location of buried treasure. Constantly beset by danger and intrigue, Nancy courageously outwits her enemies and solves one of the most challenging cases in her career as a teenage investigator.

The Secret of Mirror Bay
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Aunt Eloise Drew invited Nancy and her friends to Mirror Bay Bide-a-Wee cabin near Cooperstown, New York, for a visit and a chance to solve the mystery of the woman who glides across the water. Upon their arrival, Nancy becomes mixed up in a vacation hoax and is nearly arrested for fraud.

On the wooded mountain near the cabin further exciting events await Nancy and the other girls. In the deep forest, a weird luminescent green sorcerer appears who threatens to cast an evil spell on anyone investigating his strange activities. In a dangerous twist of circumstances Nancy finds that solving one mystery helps to solve another. What happens when the young detective and her friends uncover a cleverly concealed criminal operation?

The Long Way Home
Written by Gigi Priebe & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Henry Whiskers and his cousin, Jeremy, must find their way back home—Queen Mary’s dollhouse—and to Windsor Castle with the help of a mysterious treasure map in this fun, fast-paced follow up to The Adventures of Henry Whiskers.

Little Henry Whiskers is thrilled when he discovers an old, crinkly map, complete with a giant X marking a spot, full of treasure—at least, that’s what Henry thinks. All he knows is that this map is something BIG—he can feel it right down to the tip of his tail.

But before he can share his exciting find with his cousin and best friend, Jeremy, they find themselves in the danger zone: The Windsor Castle Kitchen. And after being unceremoniously caught and thrown out of the castle, with nothing but the map, the two little mice realize they have bigger problems than being caught in the kitchen! How will they get back to the dollhouse?

With the help of his cousin, Jeremy and a fellow field mouse named Wisely, the cousins battle a hungry falcon, an endless and stormy lake, and the maze of landmarks on the Windsor Castle Grounds as they try to find his way back home—and discover the mysterious map is more connected to the Whiskers family than either of them could have ever imagined.

The Secret of the Forgotten City
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Gold! There are rumors that long ago a treasure was hidden in a city now buried under the Nevada desert. Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold. Before she starts, the young sleuth receives an ancient stone table with petroglyphs on it. With this amazing clue, however, come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure.

One harrowing adventure after another besets Nancy, Bess, George, Ned, Burt, and Dave in 102-degree temperatures as they pursue Nancy’s hunches above and below ground. They are assisted by a fine woman and a young geology student, but both are unwilling participants in a strange plot. In the end Nancy and Ned nearly lose their lives, just after she has discovered the priceless hidden treasure of gold.

  • The Shore Road Mystery - When the Hardy Boys eagerly agree to assist their friend Jack Dodd and his father in locating a family treasure, the two young detectives are unaware of the baffling complications that will arise. Deadly road traps, aerial ambush, a spider man and a suspect who carries a menacing cane harass the young detectives as they seek the triple solution to this perplexing and exciting mystery.

  • The Jungle Pyramid - A million dollars’ worth of gold bullion has been stolen from the Wakefield Mint under strange circumstances. Mr. hardy is asked to investigate but before long his life is threatened, and he asks Frank and Joe to help him. The boys fly to Zurich, Switzerland, hoping to get information at the Swiss Gold Syndicate and to find the man who has stolen a valuable ancient gold figurine from a New York museum. Their search on both counts seems futile as they return to the United States where they uncover clues that lead them to an adventure in the Yucatán jungle. But the Hardy’s travels lead to nothing but new doubts and nagging suspicions. And now their lives are in danger.

  • The Treasure of Pirate Frank - A boy and his dog set sail in search of treasure, braving stormy seas, mountains snowy and cold, the forest where the monkeys swing, the swamp where the bullfrogs sing, and other challenging obstacles, before finally reaching the end of their quest—the treasure of Pirate Frank. But there’s a surprise in store when they discover that Pirate Frank is a girl. And no one is going to steal her treasure!

  • The Emperor's Riddle - During a family trip to China, eleven-year-old Mia Chen and her older brother Jake follow clues and solve riddles in hopes of finding their missing Aunt Lin and, perhaps, a legendary treasure.

The Lost Cipher
Written & illustrated by Michael Oechsle
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Lucas’s father has recently died in Afghanistan, and to help him cope, his grandmother sends him to Camp Kawani, a camp for kids who have lost a parent. While there, he hears about the local legend of Thomas Jefferson Beale. Beale supposedly hid a hoard of gold in the mountains 200 years before. The location is encrypted in a set of codes no one has ever been able to decipher. When Lucas and his newfound friends decide to track down the treasure, they embark on a mission that could be too dangerous to survive.

Treasure
Written by Mireille Messier & illustrated by Irene Luxbacher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When two siblings go on a treasure hunt, they aren’t sure exactly what kind of treasure they are looking for. What they do know is that treasures are shiny, mysterious and precious. And that all the really good treasures are hidden!

As they explore the forest, their curiosity pays off when they find the biggest, shiniest, most mysterious and precious treasure hidden just over a hill.

Told exclusively in dialogue, this beautifully illustrated picture book exudes a sense of wonder at the natural world and emphasizes the magical qualities of looking through a child’s eye.

Escape from Haunted Treasure Island
Written by Michael Anthony Steele & illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates sail to a secret treasure island where they come face to face with pirate ghosts! Will they escape or will they walk the haunted plank?

Chicken on Vacation
Written by Adam Lehrhaupt & illustrated by Shahar Kober
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Zoey the chicken needs a vacation! Zoey knows you don’t need to go to the shore to have the perfect beach day…but you do need a great imagination and a treasure map! Will Zoey lead her barnyard pals to buried treasure? Chicken on Vacation is a Level One I Can Read, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences. From the author-illustrator duo that brought you the hilarious Chicken in Space, Chicken in School, and Chicken in Mittens, a Level One I Can Read that School Library Journal calls “a fun book that is perfect for budding readers.”

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