The Mystery of the Moon Tower (The Pathfinders Society #1)

by Francesco Sedita (Author) Steve Hamaker (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

"A legendary hidden treasure, an eccentric guy who collects stuff in a mysterious castle, and five cool kids trying to connect the dots and save the day, all of it brilliantly illustrated. WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE HERE?" --MAX BRALLIER, author of the NYT bestselling series The Last Kids on Earth

Summer camp just became a whole lot more interesting when five curious kids accept a mysterious project: work together as a team to uncover a series of strange clues, reveal a secret path--and follow its twists and turns to a legendary treasure!

Join in the fun in this lively, clever debut graphic novel sure to appeal to fans of the Last Kids on Earth and Lumberjanes series.

Kyle is a new kid in town who likes to draw. Vic is a cool cheerleader who's secretly a math whiz. Quiet Beth is a history buff, while goofball Harry likes performing magic tricks, with the help of his patient wingman, Nate. Five kids unlikely to form a team, for sure.

But then they're thrown together at summer camp, where they watch a grainy old movie about the history of their town, Windrose, and one of its illustrious citizens of a bygone era: the intrepid explorer-inventor Henry Merriweather. He's the one who established their camp. Merriweather's Camp Pathfinders' motto? Plus Ultra more beyond!

The five kids soon find there is indeed "more beyond" in their pokey town with its weird weather and sudden geysers of smelly air. Deciphering a route of historical markers leads them to Merriweather's old castle, which is lined with ornate, beautiful tiles in hallways that lead to secret rooms full of odd objects--and where time itself is warped!

Kyle, Vic, Beth, Harry, and Nate witness scenes from Merriweather's past and realize his experiments and eccentricities are pointing toward a path--that could lead to the rumored lost treasure of Windrose.

This is the path our heroes are meant to follow, on a journey that will take them back and forth through time, through woods, and across waterways revealed by moonlight, right up to the looming Moon Tower itself--which holds Merriweather's secret . . . and the treasure!

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Kirkus Reviews

Like the pathfinders, readers will be crying, “Plus Ultra!” and hoping for the next adventure.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6—After moving to his mom's old town, Windrose, Kyle is going to spend the summer at Camp Pathfinder, located in a valley with a changing weather and smelly natural gas that tends to escape through the ground. There, Kyle meets Beth, Harry, Victoria, and Nate, the other campers in his assigned group. The five campers have distinctive interests: Kyle likes to draw, organized Beth enjoys history, Harry's passion is magic, Victoria is a math whiz, and Nate loves to create and find solutions to problems. They tap their many talents as they encounter an enigmatic castle and look for a treasure connected with the mysterious camp's founder, the missing Henry Merriweather. The narrative is simple and likely to appeal to reluctant readers, and the engaging, vibrant illustrations help move the plot along. Readers will relate to the characters and be drawn into the narrative. VERDICT This first book in an adventure-filled mystery graphic novel series will garner fans. Tweens will have fun with this quick read whose open ending will leave readers wanting to know more.—Kathia Ibacache, University of Colorado Boulder

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

En route to Camp Pathfinder, located in his mother's small hometown of Windrose, artist Kyle envisions himself engaged in a forest pathway pursuit with four other kids. Upon arrival at the summer camp and beset by supernatural weather, Kyle takes shelter with four new buddies--the opening group--as they learn about eccentric inventor-explorer Henry Merriweather, who built a concrete castle and mysterious Moon Tower nearby. Merriweather, who vanished in 1934, left a secret sought by generations of Pathfinders: the Windrose Treasure. Now his castle--and the camp--are at imminent risk of closure due to lack of funding, and the current Pathfinders must find the stash. Eisner Award-winning colorist Hamaker contributes antic scenes of the campers and richly depicts historic maps and Merriweather's castle, which allows the kids to see scenes from the past and illuminates clues in bioluminescent light. Though the novel suffers from disjointed pacing and plot holes--presumably to be resolved in future installments--Sedita and Seraydarian bring much enthusiasm to the project, and the historical basis of Merriweather's story, the real-life Henry Mercer and Mercer Museum of Doylestown, Pa., is certain to intrigue. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Francesco Sedita
Francesco Sedita likes to make lots of things: This book is one of them. Other things he has created are the Miss Popularity books series, the Emmy-winning Who Was? Show on Netflix (which he made with his co-author Prescott!), as well as lots of other books in his job at Penguin Young Readers: like Mad Libs, WhoHQ bestsellers, and other books with amazing authors like Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, Giada De Laurentiis, and even Dolly Parton.

When he isn't making stuff, Francesco is cooking in his apartment in New York City, or binge-watching a series with his husband, or playing with their cute cat, Alfredo. Visit him at

Prescott Seraydarian is a children's video producer and educator. He is the owner-director of Lunch Productions, an award-winning production company whose partners include Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and NBC Universal. He also teaches film and lives at the George School, a Quaker boarding school in Newtown, PA.

Steve Hamaker is the Eisner Award-winning colorist of bestselling graphic novel series such as Bone by Jeff Smith and HiLo by Judd Winick. He has also colored online comic series and created his own original webcomic PLOX. An avid tabletop and video gamers, Steve lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and son. Follow him on Twitter @Stevehamaker.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication date
April 20, 2020
The Pathfinders Society

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