MG, Action and Adventure
HATCHET meets IF I STAY. When 13yo Bryce finds a hidden treasure map, he doesn't mean to steal it from his Grandpa and he doesn't mean to unearth a secret that will effect their entire family. While backpacking in the Rocky mountains with his big brother, Jack, and Grandpa, the brothers' sibling rivalry clouds their judgment and all Bryce's plans for an epic adventure go downriver. While the brothers must work together to survive the wilderness and each other, Bryce is determined to find what the map is hiding. But when a horrible climbing accident leaves Bryce unconscious, Jack must find a way to save him, and Bryce must choose life or their family secret will never see the light of day. Told in dual-POV.
While treasure hunting through stacks of dusty boxes in Grandpa's barn loft, I found a plastic bin behind a china cabinet. Grandpa had said it was okay to explore up there when I told him I was bored, but still, I felt like I'd done something wrong when I found the map.
I popped the lid off the bin and walked my fingers over the hanging file folders, certain it was just a bunch of boring stuff, until I reached to replace the lid. A narrow wooden box was tucked away between the stacks of paper. I pulled the box out and unlatched the golden clasp with a click. My heart picked up speed with blazing excitement while I fumbled through baby pictures I'd never seen before. They were rubber-banded to a piece of paper; a hand-sketched map of a river, a house, and a lake. Beside the lake was a tree, and beside the tree was an X. My heart flashed. A real treasure map?
The spiral staircase to the loft creaked and groaned under someone's weight as I flipped through the photos again, unsure if they were baby pictures of me or my big brother, Jack.
“Bryce, you up there?” Grandpa yelled.
I jumped up and stuffed everything into my back pocket without thinking.
“Yeah,” I shouted, stepping over an old typewriter. “Coming!”
Grandpa's head appeared just as my toes reached the edge of the metal steps. I held my
breath to slow my breathing, hoping he wouldn't notice.