Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Agnieszka Stelmaszyk, Kroniki Archeo: Skarb Atlantów. Cracow: Zielona Sowa, 2011, 235 pp.
Action and adventure fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
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Author of the Entry:
Marta Pszczolińska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Milena Pszczolińska, University of St Andrews, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Katarzyna Marciniak, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
, b. 1976
Agnieszka Stelmaszyk was born in 1976 and trained as a Polish teacher, although she has never worked as one. Before she discovered her literary talent, she took up various jobs. Her initial interests were inspired by her mother, a biology teacher – as a girl she dreamt of becoming a doctor or a naturalist. Then she considered becoming an archeologist or even a painter. She eventually became fulfilled as a writer – she claims that what she likes the most about this profession is the fact that she can impersonate any character and for a moment become someone completely different.
The author made her debut in 2007 with her series Opowiadania z morałem [Stories with a Moral] published by Papilon. In the same year, she also published the first part of her children’s novel – Mali agenci [Little Spies]. A breakthrough for the author came in 2010 with the first volume of Kroniki Archeo [The Archeo Chronicles] – a book that became such a success that she is still working on newer and newer parts of the series. Since then, she has published multiple children’s books and remains an active and widely-read author of children’s and youth literature.
Agnieszka Stelmaszyk is currently working on the next volume of The Archeo Chronicles. She lives with her family in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Opowiadania z morałem [Stories with a Moral], 2007;
Już czytam [I can already read] (a series of 12 stories + 2), 2009, 2016;
Niezwykłe święta Kornelii [The Extraordinary Christmas of Cornelia], 2009, 2015;
Hinkul na bezkociej wyspie [Hinkul on a Catless Island], 2010;
Kroniki Archeo [The Archeo Chronicles] (13 vol.) 2010 – current;
Kto mnie przytuli? [Who Wants to Hug Me?], 2012, 2016, 2017 – current;
Grafit ma kłopoty [Grafit in Trouble], 2013;
Koalicja Szpiegów [The Coalition of Spies] (trilogy), 2013 – current;
Hotel Pod Twarożkiem [The Soft Cheese Hotel], 2014;
Dropsik potrzebuje pomocy [Dropsik Needs Help], 2014;
Biuro śledcze. Tomuś Orkiszek i Partnerzy [The Bureau of Investigation. Tommy Orkiszek and Partners] (7 vol.), 2014 – 2016;
Terra Incognita (trilogy), 2014-2015;
Klub Poszukiwaczy Przygód [The Adventurers’ Club] (5 vol.), 2014-2016;
Odyseusze (trilogy), [The Odysseuses], 2016-2017;
Nieustraszona Babcia Adela i kosmiczna przygoda [The Fearless Grandma Adele and The Cosmic Adventure], 2016;
Opowieści spod czereśni [Stories Under the Cherry Tree], 2016;
Wesołe przypadki kociej gromadki [The Jolly Adventures of the Feline Crew], 2018.
Her books have been translated into Azeri, Czech, Estonian, Lithuanian, Russian, and Ukrainian.
pl.wikipedia.org (accessed: October 30, 2020).
lubimyczytac.pl (accessed: October 30, 2020).
stelmaszyk.fandom.com (accessed: October 30, 2020).
Bio prepared by Marta Pszczolińska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com and Milena Pszczolińska, University of St Andrews, firstname.lastname@example.org
Azeri, Lithuanian, Ukrainian
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
Kroniki Archeo: Tajemnica Klejnotu Nefertiti (Book 1) [The Archeo Chronicles: The Secret of Nefertiti’s Jewel].
Kroniki Archeo: Sekret Wielkiego Mistrza (Book 3) [The Archeo Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Master].
Kroniki Archeo [The Archeo Chronicles] is a series of children’s novels, in which kids of a Polish and a British couple: Anna Ostrowska and Bartek Ostrowski along with Mary Jane and twins Jim and Martin Gardner and their friends solve mysteries associated with mythology, history, archeology, ancient cultures and eventually make consequential discoveries.
In The Treasure of the Atlanteans, the children and their parents are spending their holidays on Crete. They are accompanied by a newly encountered friend – a local girl named Klejto Dimitrios. They begin their exciting Greek adventure when Bartek accidentally finds, in a layer of volcanic dust in the ruins of an ancient temple, a mysterious golden jewel with an engraved gem. The artefact has a bull’s head, a ship and some other symbols engraved on it. The children decide to seek advice from Klejto’s grandfather, who is a local fisherman. He tells them the story of the Santorini volcano eruption and the Minoan refugees from Santorini, who buried/hid a treasure on Crete: the statue of Poseidon from the temple in Atlantis. According to the legend, there are two signets necessary to find the treasure, one of which could be the gem found by Bartek.
In a village near the place where the children are staying, a group of archeologists establish a camp to conduct underwater searches, which the children consider suspicious. They decide to watch them carefully afraid that they might be illegal treasure hunters, a suspicion which turns out to be correct. The children discover that the archeologists are looking for the golden statue and are hired by a certain prof. Flemming, although nobody seems to know anything about him. The mysterious “professor” realizes that he is being followed, so he hires an undercover agent who spies on the children and reports to him on their actions. The clever children unmask the spy and discover that the professor is a criminal, known to readers of the first volume of the series as Midas, who leads a gang of bandits/robbers in Egypt. From now on, good intentions and luck are not enough to solve the mystery and find the treasure of the Atlanteans – they must act with the utmost care and caution.
In a daring operation, the Ostrowski siblings find another element of the puzzle – a marble eye from a prow with engraved symbols that lead them to Knossos, where they discover the second signet. Although they now have all the elements of the puzzle, it is not easy for the explorers to find out where the treasure has been hidden. They also lose the signets when one of the Midas’ robbers seizes them. The children use their intellect, outlines of the lost objects they made in their chronicle and their navigating skills to figure out where the treasure of Atlantis might be hidden.
In the final scene, the treasure is found, the bandits arrested, Mary Jane’s photographs of the discovery published in the press, and the young heroes sail away with Klejto’s grandfather to catch a swordfish.
The Treasure of the Atlanteans as part of an adventure series based on archeological mysteries includes multiple references to Antiquity. These references are evident on two levels. First - the storyline, which incorporates elements of the ancient word with which the characters come across. The second level – the parallel text, presented with adequate illustrations in boxes on the pages that contain encyclopedic information about the names appearing in the main text.
Since the children of the archeologists Ostrowski and Gardner are spending the summer on Crete, references to ancient Greece appear anytime that the characters visit places known from Antiquity (Athens, Rhodes, Knossos, Santorini) or when they look for information about the treasure. The text features ancient myths and local legends, which are told to the characters or read during their exploration, as well as descriptions of places, buildings and texts (e.g., Plato’s writings about Atlantis or a document from the Library of Alexandria owned by Midas), which become their inspiration. Some of the depicted elements are not consistent with historical actuality (e.g., the word on the jewel engraved in modern Greek mirror writing λαβύρινθος, although one would rather expect it to be linear script B or even linear A) Still, such minor changes make it is easier to develop the plot, and the solving of the mystery becomes more believable.
The idea of placing in boxes explanatory information concerning the references to mythology, history, ancient philosophy or the characters appearing in the main text, contributes to better understanding and liberates from having to make additional inquiries. Among the entries appearing in the boxes are:
mythological figures: Eos, Medusa (Gorgo), Echidna, Typhon,
ancient historical figures: Minoans, Homer, Pericles, Plato, Pythia, Julius Caesar,
as well as modern ones: Napoleon Bonaparte,
researchers: Heinrich Schliemann, Sir Arthur John Evans, Kazimierz Nowak (Polish traveller and journalist),
places, buildings, artifacts: Knossos, Santorini, Acrotiri, Acropolis of Athens, Colossus of Rhodes, Library of Alexandria, Phaistos Disc,
concepts: glyptic art, gemma (gemstone), caldera.
There are also separate half- or full pages, which describe: the duel of Athena with Poseidon for the patronage of Athens, the myth of the origin of the name Rhodes and the myth of the Minotaur. Separate pages from the Archeo Chronicle written by the children are incorporated as well, and files of the detective who is following them or pages from the newspapers about the discovery of the Atlantean treasure.
Beautiful illustrations constitute a pleasant addition and not only show the characters in action and display some marvelous Greek landscapes but styled as old prints or photographs in hues of sepia, decorate the children’s journal and the boxed encyclopedic entries.
Illustrator: Jacek Pasternak
See the announcement of the publication on YouTube (accessed: October 30, 2020).