Dear Diary,

Well, I’m on the plane. I don’t want to be on the plane, but I, Layla Adler, am on the plane. You probably want to know where I’m going, right? It’s a town called Vistaville. My mom says I have bunch of cousins and aunts and uncles there and it’s time for me to get to know them ….

So begins Layla’s summer, which is not going the way she planned at all. When she hears about her great-great grandfather’s hidden treasure–hidden somewhere in her Aunt Rivkah’s house–Layla decides to do some investigating.

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Read Faygie’s Q&A for more on the origins of this story.

Reviews:

“The reader is drawn along, eager to find out more about the family relationships and the hidden mystery. The book is a quick read, with sentences that flow, and vocabulary that is easy to comprehend. But the characters and storyline have depth and interest, and the reader grows along with Layla.” Author Judith Pransky, Philadelphia Jewish Link, March 5

“Layla is the reluctant guest of relatives she doesn’t know well in Vistaville, where she slowly–and not without conflict–forms friendships with her cousins and finds the solution to a simple mystery. Told in diary entries, the story is perhaps too easily resolved, but the breezy writing and accessible, handwriting-like font make this book a good option for reluctant readers. Judaism plays a background role, with Hebrew and Yiddish names and Shabbat observance appearing as part of the family’s fabric–giving religious, and particularly Orthodox, readers a chance to see themselves reflected in a story of everyday life.”  — Shoshana Flax, The Horn Book, Inc., Boston, MA, as written in the Association of Jewish Libraries News and Reviews, May/June 2020