A beautiful Kirkassi girl, cold-eyed villains and smiling killers, a bazaar merchant peddling slightly used dreams—could any young adventurer ask for more? Not Carlo Chuchio, who is seeking hidden treasure on the legendary Road of Golden Dreams.
With Baksheesh, the world's worst camel-puller, Carlo leads a caravan through the realm of Keshavar. Robbed of all but his underdrawers, mistaken for a mighty warrior and then for a crown prince, Carlo risks his life for a prize that may not even exist.
Newbery medalist Lloyd Alexander weaves a glorious tale of adventure, love, and the treasures that matter most.
The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
This posthumously published novel from Alexander, who died this spring, is an exuberant and compassionate tale of adventure. Kicked out of his merchant uncle's house, inveterate daydreamer Carlo leaves the island of Magenta (not far from Campania, the mythical setting of The Rope Trick) to head east on the Road of Golden Dreams. He travels through Sidya, Marakand and Keshavar (the evocative names are vintage Alexander, subtly blending cartography and legend), all the way to Cathai, where he expects to make his fortune, thanks to the treasure map he found tucked into a book of fantastic tales given him by a mysterious bookseller. Themes that call to mind Alexander's landmark Prydain Chronicles reappear here, telescoped into a single potent volume: Starting as a callow youth, Carlo gains wisdom and the capacity to love deeply, thanks to his adventures on the road and what he learns from his fellow travelers. The buoyant fantasy is counterpointed by the war and destruction that lurk beyond nearly every bend in the road; the interplay between these elements will keep readers enthralled every step of Alexander's final literary journey. Ages 10-up.