What if Thomas Edison had been studying alchemy? What if he'd
found the scientific formula to successfully create gold from other
metals? What if he had an enemy that wanted that formula for evil
purposes? What would he do to hide it? That is the story that is
told in Edison's Gold, a thrilling adventure story for
children ages 8-12.
Edison's Gold flashes between the fictional story of
Thomas A. Edison IV, a 7 th grader with A.D.D. and a penchant for
wild experiments, and the story of Thomas A. Edison and his rival
Nikola Tesla. Tom and his friends, Noodle and Colby, accidentally
stumble across a hidden clue amongst some of his great-great grandfather's
belongings. Deciphering the clue launches them into a dangerous
scavenger hunt to discover the hidden secret of the Sub Rosa --
The Alchemy Papers.
Geoff Watson's first book is an exciting treasure hunt adventure,
somewhat reminiscent of the National Treasure movies.
The adventure is fascinating, keeping the reader's attention from
start to finish. The book has no swearing, no romance, no magic,
no potty humor, and no anti-parent attitudes. However, it is a
secular book, and the characters are not perfect. The children
sneak out, hide their activities from their parents, and even break
the law by breaking into a closed museum exhibit. The break-in
results in several consequences -- a trip to the police station,
community service, and grounding by the parents -- but the sneaking
out is never addressed by the parents even though they do discover
Though my daughters and I loved this book, I do have one concern.
When books (and movies) borrow characters from history and then
create fantastical fiction referencing minor details from their
life, it can confuse children. Parents might need to address the
differences between true historical accounts and historical fiction
with their children. Technically, this book would not even fall
into the historical fiction category, as it is primarily set in
Edison's Gold definitely ends with the promise of a
sequel, or perhaps two, as Tom and his family vow to continue to
protect The Alchemy Papers. I would definitely look forward to
future books in this series by Geoff Watson. They're a fun read
for reluctant readers as well as avid readers. I appreciate that
even though they are not Christian books, they are safe for my
children to read. I'd recommend them to anyone whose 8 to 12-year-old
children enjoy adventure books and treasure hunts.