Jake, a 14-year-old gadget whiz, didn’t plan on a summer full of treasure, thieves, and danger. He just got lucky. While in Ireland on a class trip, Jake stumbles upon the first clue to a treasure missing from the Spanish Armada. Jake sees the riches as his chance to buy back the family sailboat and restore a piece of the life he enjoyed before his father was critically injured in an accident. Desperate to find the treasure, Jake teams up with Zach, his nemesis and class bully, and two girls in a clue-hunting chase across the Dingle Peninsula. Dodging would-be thieves, exchanging wisecracks with Zach, and concocting ingenious devices to get them out of scrapes, Jake leads the team as they connect piece after piece to the more than 400-year-old mystery.
“[In] Vogel’s debut middle-grade adventure story, classmates Jake, Julie, and Zach follow centuries-old clues while on a school trip to Ireland. . . . The story focuses primarily on Jake and his jury-rigged inventions . . . and his inner dialogue provides a good source of humor throughout. A fun . . . kid’s caper.”
“Romance, danger, intrigue, and personality clashes between peers — all make ‘Celtic Run’ a vivid coming-of-age novel. . . . a memorable adventure story.”
—DIANE DONOVAN, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“[A] fast-paced, action-filled coming-of-age novel in which Jake, a smart but undersized eighth grader, goes on a trip to Ireland with his arch-rival Zach and discovers much more than his Irish roots.”
—KAYTI NIKA RAET, READERS’ FAVORITE
“Looking for a page-turner to please that younger adolescent? CELTIC RUN is a sure bet with international travel, a thrilling treasure hunt, and pursuits by a criminal cartel. This contemporary Irish escapade begins as three American teenagers in a cultural exchange program find themselves embroiled in a mystery fraught with danger. Jake, Zach and Julie, and their Irish friend Maggie are all coping with family problems that include detached parents, dictatorial parents, a disabled single parent and parental unemployment. The Americans, housed with host families in Dingle, are keenly aware that they are in a foreign country; they hone their observational skills, weigh alternative actions, and learn to think on their feet. They also join forces to organize and execute plans. Plenty of rollicking sideshows (the kind that can only happen in Ireland) shift this novel into high gear.”
—MARY McWAY SEAMAN, THE CELTIC CONNECTION
“What you notice first in ‘Celtic Run,’ Sean Vogel’s first published work, is that it speeds along without much room for reflection. That’s intentional, of course. It keeps 14-year-old Jake McGreevy busy. It also keeps the reader busy as it twists around with surprising plot progression and incidental events.
“There’s plenty of time for reflection toward the end of the book, but from its beginning, Jake McGreevy, on an exchange to Ireland, saves a little girl from drowning, finds a clue to a fabulous treasure, and spends the remainder of the book recovering it. Along the way, he wins a Rugby game, passes a night with gypsies, hotwires a car, steals a horse, and saves another life.”
—WILLIAM C. THOMAS, NEW-PLAINS
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