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Fans of Netflix's Outer Banks will devour this contemporary YA novel with a propulsive mystery about one girl's search for her town's legendary sunken treasure in order to clear her family's name and save her future.

The past can't stay buried for long . . .

Casey’s life in Langston has been charmed. She’s the queen bee of her prep school, a shoe-in for prom queen, and on her way to the Ivy League come fall. She can't wait to leave the whole town of Langston behind her. That is until her father loses his job and she finds herself on the brink of losing her ticket out of town.

The town of Langston is known for its picturesque lake and robust summer tourism. Everyone who lives in town has heard the rumors at some point-- there is a treasure buried deep below the surface that no one has ever been able to find. Few people actually believe in the treasure, and even fewer have searched for it.

But some have tried . . .



While trying to save her family, a Black girl tugs on a string that will unravel her small town and the lies that built it. Casey Whitecroft’s life has been going downhill since the failure of her father’s business and their subsequent decline in social status. Formerly part of the “charmies”—a subset of the rich, primarily White people in their small town of Langston, Georgia—she is now one of the “downstreamers.” Her demoralized father won’t leave the house, her mother is constantly angry, and her sister, a Spelman College junior, is keeping her distance—leaving Casey with few options as she adjusts to her new reality. When they face losing their home, Casey reaches out to attractive co-worker Tanner for help selling her last remaining valuables at his parents’ pawn shop. In the process, she discovers a rust-covered coin she picked up in the local lake may matter more than she thought and may lead to discovering secrets behind Langston’s legend of buried treasure. However, Casey and Tanner aren’t the only ones searching for the treasure—and they are in real danger. The closer they get to the truth, the more they uncover about Langston’s founding. This thrilling coming-of-age story unfolds briskly, keeping readers engaged in the details of the 100-year-old mystery. Through her multiracial cast of characters, Buford examines the impacts of racism and revisionist history through the generations. A riveting examination of power and the importance of history.

- (Mystery. 13-18)- Kirkus (Apr 15, 2023)


Desperate times call for desperate measures, and high-school senior Casey is willing to try anything to keep her Ivy League-plans on track. Her seemingly perfect life is upended when her father loses his job, ousting her from the popular crowd and jeopardizing her ability to afford college tuition. Here the story takes an unexpected twist, as Casey and a group of new friends decide to look for the sunken treasure rumored to exist in their touristy lake town, Langston. Readers will find themselves invested in the progress of the search and its possible outcomes. Buford’s contemporary novel engagingly mixes mystery with adventure and buzzes with ethereal elements, but it is anchored in the realistic challenges Casey faces. Her desire to get out of Langston and spread her wings will be relatable to most teens, and her efforts to help ease her family’s struggles, form genuine friendships, and go the extra distance to reach her goals glitter brighter than any gold that might be lurking in Langston.

- Aurora Dominguez- Booklist (May 1, 2023)

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