Graysen Foxx and the Treasure of Principal Redbeard

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Pub Date 07 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 21 Mar 2023

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A young treasure hunter must decipher clues, solve puzzles, and search his school for a long-lost chest filled with decades of confiscated toys.

Ordinary Elementary is anything but ordinary. Below the classrooms are winding, abandoned, underground passages filled with lost treasures. Fifth-grader Graysen Foxx, aka The Gray Fox—finder of secrets, solver of mysteries, and explorer of the unknown—is hot on the trail of the legendary treasure of long-since-retired Principal Redbeard, which includes a decades’ worth of confiscated gadgets, rare comic books, first-edition Pokemon trading cards, an original Rubik’s Cube, and a retro football handheld video game.

Graysen is determined to find the treasure and share it with his fellow students. His nemesis, Raven Ransom—a fifth-grade girl nicknamed “The Red Raven”—plans to stop him and claim the prizes for herself, just like she did with the game-winning home run kickball everyone thought was lost on the roof of the school.

Wearing his adventurer-iconic fedora, journaling in his field notebook, and wielding his elastic stretchy hand, Graysen is ready for action. But can he avoid the second-grade spy network working for Raven? Could the third-grade twins, Maya and Jack, give him an advantage? Can he avoid the ruthless sixth graders while trying to protect the innocent first graders? And who is the mysterious Midnight Moth who is leaving cryptic notes and riddles?

It's a battle between courage and cunning, smarts and shrewdness, charity and cheating. With the treasure on the line, can Graysen trust his rival—or is it just another one of her traps? May the best treasure hunter win!
A young treasure hunter must decipher clues, solve puzzles, and search his school for a long-lost chest filled with decades of confiscated toys.

Ordinary Elementary is anything but ordinary. Below the...

Advance Praise

“Will get pulses going right from the start. Graysen is an engaging protagonist.”


“Will get pulses going right from the start. Graysen is an engaging protagonist.”


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ISBN 9781639931033
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 15 members

Featured Reviews

this was a really well done story, it was a fun adventure novel and I was hooked from the first page. Graysen Foxx has a great spirit to him and he reminded me of why I enjoy Indiana Jones and those types of stories. The story itself was what I was hoping for and did everything I needed for. The characters are great and they work in the story.

“Maybe,” I said. “I’m starting to wonder if Principal Redbeard’s sudden disappearance, the missing toys, and the Midnight Moth’s clues are all related somehow. We could be walking into a danger greater than any of us can imagine.”

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This book was fabulous! I read it out load to my kids and they loved every mischief filled page! We were all laughing out loud at times! I loved that the scenarios were humorous, but relatable to kids and there were so many recognizable pop culture phrases that the kids absolutely loved! We are definitely picking up more of this authors books!

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I quite enjoyed reading this story from beginning to end. the riddles of Principal Redbear's treasure has always kept me curious.
It didn't stop there, the involvement of Graysen Foxx, his friends and his nemesis Raven in the search for the treasure turned out was ridden by one of the school staff who also wanted that treasure. So what exactly were that hidden treasures? Then where were they? Who did mastermind the searching for the treasure of principal Redbeard?
It was An adventurous and quite-exciting-puzzle-solving story. The element of friendship, co-operation, competition and jealousy in the children point of view that actually was interesting, but I still need more excitement in the story, such as challenges that should have made me think more.

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Something about the narrative voice in this book just didn’t work for me. Maybe it was the over-use of comparisons, metaphors and similes. Sometimes it’s better just to say things straight, not constantly make humorous comparisons. The comparisons were cute, but Savage really laid it on thick. Too thick.

The story itself is a sort of elementary school Indiana Jones, adventuring through the myths and legends of his school in search of treasure. I would definitely classify it as fantasy, although firmly rooted in the real world. Some of the interpersonal dynamics are true to elementary school life; others are greatly exaggerated for comic effect.

I think my favorite characters were sidekicks Maya and Jack. Their loyalty and dogged determination to help Graysen to prevail over Red Raven were a nice touch.

The conclusion of the adventure was appropriate, with some twists and turns along the way, as people don’t always act the way Graysen assumed they would. Who is really helping…and who has an ulterior motive?

In the end, this is a solid series starter, but not one I think I’ll need to continue in.

Possible Objectionable Material:
Lots of sneaking around and Indiana Jones-style booby traps. And yet, somehow Graysen is never actually injured! Young children eat crayons, other immature behavior.

Who Might Like This Book:
Anyone who likes adventure, particularly fans of Indiana Jones.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my opinion.

This book is also reviewed at

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I really enjoyed Graysen Foxx and the Treasure of Principal Redbeard for many reasons.
Gray Fox is a legendary 5th grade treasure hunter at Ordinary Elementary, where each grade is famous for something. He is aided by his 3rd grade twin assistants, Maya and Jack. Maya is very smart and the voice of reason. Jack does not normally talk, except to Maya.
Great has an arch enemy, the Red Raven, another 5th grader, who is constantly vying for Gray's treasures.
The story is full of adventure and lessons in the value of being a nice person and caring friend over selfishness.
The book is also chock full of metaphors and similes and would make an excellent elementary school read aloud. I hope this is part of a series as Gray and friends are very likeable and fun.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the digital ARC!

This was such a fun book to read. If you remember the old cartoon show Recess, this has a very similar feel with some Indiana Jones mixed in. The main character, Graysen, is trying to find the lost treasure of Principal Spencer (AKA Principal Redbeard) before his nemesis, Red Raven, finds it. Graysen has to solve many puzzles and riddles and explore many areas of Ordinary Elementary in order to finish his quest.

The different characters are a lot of fun. Graysen considers himself an archaeologist and searches for treasures like ancient laminated hall passes and the Hand Dryer of Doom. The other characters are all colorful and fun characters and the social hierarchy and dynamics of the school are very reminiscent of the cartoon Recess.

I also really enjoyed the writing style in this book. The similes and metaphors were especially fun to read, and the overall feel of the story was like a hard-boiled detective mystery mixed with an Indiana Jones story, but from the perspective of a fifth-grader.

Overall, this was super fun to read and I think older elementary school kids will have a lot of fun with this book as well.

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One word to describe this book, clever. But I do need more words to describe how much fun this book is. I started reading and a smile never left my face. Many times I was laughing out loud, but always smiling. It’s a wonderfully fun, adventurous read. The illustrations brought this story to life and the imagery throughout was so perfect. Again, I smiled a lot. Graysen and his third grade helpers were immensely enjoyable. Maya and Jack were so funny. Such wonderfully loyal friends. Graysen made other surprising friends along the way. Great twists and puzzles too. This book is so fun and I can’t wait for more.
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ecopy.. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

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Watch out, Indiana Jones! Graysen Foxx will keep readers engaged from beginning to end with humor and adventure. My students and I gripped the edge of our seats wondering if Greyson would make it through the basement maze. We're excited to see what will happen next.

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Did you imagine secret passageways in your elementary school when you were little? Or perhaps mysteries that happened years ago? Graysen Foxx and the Treasure of Principal Redbeard brought back the sweet, imaginative days of elementary school. Graysen aka the Gray Fox is a fedora wearing 5th grader who like Indiana Jones is a sort of elementary school archeologist who searches for long forgotten school treasures and solves mysteries. Ordinary Elementary School has secret tunnels, passages, and treasures hidden in those piles of ancient wooden desks. With his reliable sticky hand and his two sidekicks Maya and Jack, he tries to outwit his nemesis Raven Ransom aka “the Red Raven” from beating him to the treasures.

When he discovers an old book that alludes to Principal Redbeard’s hidden treasure, he seeks out the dreaded sixth graders, and “the Oracle” of the library to find clues to where it could be stashed. With plenty of riddles and Indiana Jones like booby traps, the trio face all sorts of danger to find where Redbeard’s horde of old confiscated toys might be found. But, will they be able to outwit Raven or is there someone else who has a vested interest in them discovering the lost treasure?

I enjoyed this funny, clever book. I had a big imagination in elementary school and loved mysteries, so this book would have been right up my alley. This would be a great read-a-loud book for kids, and adults would enjoy the references to their own childhood, like those heavy wooden desks, the library card files, those date stamps librarians used for checking out books, and other nostalgic remnants from before smart phones and tablets.

I loved Graysen’s goodness and his willingness to do what was best for others rather than just himself. He’s a great leader and a funny, smart kid. It’s so refreshing to read about a male main character who’s brave, smart, kind, and fun. I also appreciated the fact that there was no potty humor, language, or adult content that parents have to worry about. There are some mentions of bullying and very mild violence/suspenseful situations.

Highly recommend this book to kids between the ages of seven and twelve with 3rd to 5th graders being the ideal audience. I received an advanced complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review. 4 1/2 stars

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Unique adventure book for kids. Written by the talented author of the Far World and Mysteries of Cove series as well as The Lost Wonderland Diaries.

Graysen and his helpers Maya and Jack are searching for treasure - toys confiscated by the previous principal who left suddenly before returning them to their owners. Raven is also trying to find the treasure and spoils many of their plans. The setting is a little confusing because the story takes place in our world at an elementary school, but is described as though they are in another world with hidden passageways and mysterious storage rooms.

The author uses tons of figurative language. Honestly, I think there’s too much because it slows down the story, but I enjoyed many of his tongue in cheek descriptions. Some will probably appeal more to adults and made me laugh. I would include my favorites, but I read an ARC and have been asked to wait for the published version for quotes.

I like the way the students learn to work together on a common goal. Graysen is a great character and cares more about helping people than winning. I love the message that people are what is most important. I’m not the target audience but I still wanted to see how it ends and if they find the treasure. Thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC to use for my review.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley and Shadow Mountain in exchange for my opinions.


There are so many things to love, and you kids are going to eat it up! Greyson Foxx is a fifth grader and the Delago twins are in third grade. There's also the Second Grade Spy Network. Because of the many ages, I think even more kids will identify with the characters and fun.

- Indiana Jones level of excitement
- A trusty fedora (yeah, that's for Gray)
- Mischief
- So stinkin' funny
- A sticky hand
- Great characters to love (think sidekicks) and hate (think Red Raven)
- Fabulous puzzle (talk about a puzzler—your kids will love it)
- Adventure (seriously, the first chapter is titled "The Maze of Death")
- Secret tunnels
- More secrets

This book has the perfect tone for your middle grade readers to keep them smiling and turning pages.

Happy reading!

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The children loved this clever funny book. It was exciting and very amusing. It does make the children's schools boring (apparently) and they would like an exchange.

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Graysen is an explorer, a treasure hunter and a people’s champion. Graysen wants to find things that will help people (his fellow students) and not keep everything for himself like his counterpart the Red Raven. This treasure he is going after just might be the top of the top of treasures, but, he faces many trials along the way but the biggest trial just might turn out to be his biggest asset.
This is such a good book and Graysen is such a great friend to those around him. I love thinking back to some of the stories we used to tell each other in grade school about places in the school and the surrounding area. My first two schools where really old so there was a lot of stories like the ones in the book. This book is so much fun and with a great message.

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#GraysenFoxxandtheTreasureofPrincipalRedbeard #NetGalley

This book was a quick read. Greysen Foxx loves an adventure when he discovers clues that lead him to believe that there is a lost treasure hidden in the school somewhere, Grayson is determined to find it. With the help of a pair of third grade twins and clever sleuthing skills, Grayson search has begun. This book would be a fun read for elementary school students.

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Graysen Foxx, 5th grade detective, explores the mysteries of Ordinary Elementary with his loyal sidekicks, a green sticky-hand toy, and sometimes a bag of chips. This adventure story is perfect for young readers with plenty of heart, humour, and references to elementary school life. The story follows Graysen and his friends as they work to outsmart rivals and solve the mystery of Principal Redbeard's lost treasure. The story includes plenty of twists and challenges with a great twist at the end and the perfect setup for future stories.

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