The Treasure With a Face

A Catholic adventure novel for 9-13 year-olds or the perfect read-aloud for the whole family.

The Treasure With a Face lets readers experience the adventures of a treasure-hunting boy living in ancient Israel who sets out to meet Jesus as part of his plan to find the Ark of the Covenant. Through his journey, readers come to appreciate that they don’t have to live halfway around the world 2000 years ago to meet Jesus. He’s alive in the Blessed Sacrament.

Packed with action, intrigue, twists and humor.

What would you do for the Ultimate Treasure?

Twelve-year-old Eli lives in ancient Israel and dreams of being a treasure hunter instead of his uncle’s metalsmithing apprentice. Uncle Shem is the kind of man who would tell Jesus that He walked on water the wrong way.

When Uncle Shem reluctantly sends Eli on a 120-mile journey to Jerusalem to deliver a fragile mirror, it seems like an impossible mission for a clumsy apprentice. But Eli resolves to not only redeem himself in the eyes of his uncle, but also to begin his life as a treasure hunter. He aims to find nothing less than the Ark of the Covenant! Of course, flames reportedly shoot out the bottom of the Ark, and people who touch it tend to die, but that’s not going to deter him.

Fortunately, a mysterious stranger, who seems to share a secret past with Uncle Shem, gives Eli a worn Roman artifact. Eli could never imagine how much he’ll appreciate the object during the perilous search for treasure. Enemies are waiting along the way and within Jerusalem’s imposing walls.

But Jesus just might be in Jerusalem too. Who other than the all-knowing Son of God might know where to find the ultimate treasure?

“From the very first page, I knew Eli was someone I would enjoy going on an adventure with, and that is exactly what I did.” -Leslea Wahl, author and contributor at Today’ and

A treasure hunter’s delight as the “Treasure” is ultimately found. A story for most all age groups…The author is well read and has done her homework and research. Thank you, Janeen! -Fr. Paul J. Meismer, co-author of Letters to Padre and It’s Not All Black and White

It is a page turner — full of adventure, interesting characters, danger, disappointment, humor, suspense and unexpected twists and turns as young Eli perseveres in the face of unimaginable obstacles placed in his path. Whom he met and what he found far exceeded any treasure this young child could have ever imagined at the outset of his journey. -Michael Seagriff, author of Stirring Slumbering Souls: 250 Eucharistic Reflections and I Thirst for Your Love

Exploring a mysterious cave, running from bandits, racing across the roofs of Jerusalem, and meeting Mary — Janeen Zaio has created a wonderful faith-centered story that drops kids into an adventure set in the time of the Apostles. Middle schoolers will love this book. -Michelle Buckman, award-winning author

Want to dive even deeper? Check out Escape With the Ark or our Resources page.

Anyone wanting to foster devotion to Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist will want to give this book and keep one for themselves.

A staple for every Catholic home.

%d bloggers like this: