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School of Secrets: CJ's Treasure Chase is the first book in the Descendants book series, School of Secrets. It was released on August 30, 2016.

Synopsis

The novel begins with a flashback to CJ as a child on the Isle of the Lost. Finding an old treasure map of her father's that is left unfinished, she vows to find the treasure it leads to, whatever the cost.

The story picks up after Freddie and CJ have been transported to Auradon and Freddie has been enrolled in Auradon Prep. CJ acts as a stowaway in her dorm room whilst she locates the treasure. After Freddie leaves for lunch, CJ pulls out the secret map only to find that the sketch has grown but is still not complete. It leaves a clue:

'In this historic site of learned, lies a special stone unturned. Find it among the tulips so bold, And you're future will shine bright and gold.'

CJ believes the map is telling her to look around Auradon Prep, thinking it is a 'site of learned' and begins to pull pranks on the students there. When she overhears a meeting regarding the upcoming Neon Lights Ball, CJ finds out that Freddie wants to sing at the party. When Audrey shuts her down, CJ vows revenge on her. She sneaks a fish into her locker and the following morning Audrey is left covered in fish.

Later when Freddie confronts her dormmate about what she is doing in Auradon, CJ refuses to talk. Instead, she asks for help regarding the tulips. When Freddie doesn't tell her, CJ takes matters into her own hands and sneaks out of the dorm room that night. She crosses the campus to Mal and Evie's dorm and sneaks in through the open window.

After finding Evie's magic mirror, she asks where the tulips are but draws blank as the mirror doesn't work for her. Depressed, CJ almost leaves the dorm before finding Mal's diary. She consults it to find gossip but instead reads a passage about the VKs sneaking to the Auradon's Museum of Cultural History. CJ realises that is where she has to go to find the tulip and complete the map.

The morning of the Neon Lights Ball, CJ steals Jane's school mascot costume and plants Mal's stolen bracelet at the scene of the crime. She heads towards the Museum, only to be stalked by Dude. When she arrives at the museum, she uses the armour as a disguise to the guard and sneaks into the botanical wing. There she finds Wonderland Tulips, and stone which reveals a hidden key. The words 'Nothing Is Ever Set in Stone' is engraved in the back of the pebble. When CJ speaks them aloud, the map's sketch grows again to reveal the wider Auradon and a lake.

After escaping the Museum with a distraction by Dude, CJ returns to Auradon Prep. She climbs back into her dorm room only to be caught by Freddie who finally gets CJ to reveal her purpose in Auradon. CJ spills about her plan and Freddie agrees to help her find the treasure. When she looks at the map Freddie tells CJ that the map has shown her 'The Enchanted Lake'.

The morning after the ball, CJ leaves her dorm early to find transport to take her and Freddie to the lake. She steals Ben's Vespa and drives them there. When they arrive, CJ is disappointed to find that the map's sketch isn't growing. After Freddie's failed idea of drinking from the water, they both decide to jump into the water and hope that the map will grow because of that. The girls get distracted by splashing each other, and Freddie accidentally splashes water onto the map. CJ leaves the water furious at Freddie, only to find the map's sketch has grown where the droplets hit. She realises the water expands the map and dunks the paper under the lake. The map expands once again but is still not complete.

The new map reveals parts of Nothern Auradon, including Briar's Hollow and Bayou d'Orleans. As the map continues to grow a new riddle runs along the dotted line:

'In the tale of Rose, you might recall, the fairies helped the bad to fall. When magic shrinks the big to small, you'll see the final clue of all.'

The girls decide to head to Briar's Hollow but after CJ returns the Vespa to Ben. They drive back to Auradon Prep and leave the school to go shopping for disguises. They sneak into an unlocked clothes shop and steal 'Auradonian' outfits to wear, just as Cj spies a tour bus heading to Briar's Hollow. They get themselves onto the bus and arrive at the Briar's Hollow, home of the Three Good Fairies.

Freddie deduces the map must be shrunk to reveal the final clue and thinks up a plan to get a fairy to use her magic. She tricks CJ into going into a salon and manipulates the fairy hairdresser to use her magic on the paper for 'school work'. The fairy agrees and takes them into the back room to cast the spell. However, it backfires and CJ and Freddie are shrunken instead. As they panic, CJ notices a speck she thought was a blob of dirt is instead the final part of the map. She sees the dotted trail leads to Skull Rock, out on the coast of Neverland.

After they get the fairy to bring them back to their original size, CJ and Freddie ditch the salon. They decide they need to track down a boat to get to Skull Rock when Freddie sees Audrey walking around the main street of Briar's Hollow and hides behind a truck. Freddie says there are boats in the Bayou d'Orleans and that they need to find a way there. As the truck pulls away, Freddie notices it is from the bakery in the Bayou. The girls hop on board the truck and are seen by Audrey.

The pair argue about Auradon on the ride to the Bayou, and when the truck comes to a stop they leave separately. CJ heads to the docks where she finds an unattended row boat hitched to the dock. She steals it and rows out, only to regret losing Freddie. She returns to the Bayou and searches for her friend. Eventually, she tracks her down in a jazz club, where Freddie was appreciating the music and feasting on Beignets. CJ apologises and the pair return to the row boat to sail out to Skull Rock.

The two arrive at the small island and Freddie bestows a box of matches from the club for CJ to uses as she climbs inside the rock. CJ reaches the top and has to climb across the eye sockets using series of hook hammered into the stone. After crossing the ridge and nearly falling, CJ tugs out a hook from the ceiling and pockets it for later. She reaches a drop with a single rope dangling from the ceiling and descends it.

As she reaches the bottom CJ spies the chest surrounded by a clump of 12 crocodiles. She grows unnerved by their ticking and slowly drops down to the chest. Opening it, she snags a small item that she cannot see and makes to leave. However, the crocodiles awake and threaten to eat her. They snap at her and cut the rope she had used. Using the hook, CJ climbs hole and reaches the rest of the rope. She reaches the top of the hole and has to dive into the rising water to get back to the rowboat.

After Freddie lugs CJ aboard the rowboat she asks what the treasure was. CJ reveals it was her father's golden compass that he used during his pirating days. Freddie, underwhelmed, rows the boat back to the Bayou and the pair hitch a ride on a truck headed for Auradon City. By night they reach Auradon Prep and sneak back into Freddie's dorm only to be discovered by Mal and Evie. Mal reveals that Audrey was telling everyone that she saw Freddie at Briar Hollow without Fairy Godmother's permission. CJ covers for her partner saying she held Freddie hostage during their time together - thus, making her innocent to the whole ordeal. Mal doesn't buy the story but CJ leaves before she can say anything further.

Just as CJ is about to leave, she calls up to Freddie's window and tosses her the box of matches. Feeling excited, CJ leaves Auradon Prep and goes off to continue with her adventures.

Product Information

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: School of Secrets (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Press (August 30, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1484778642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1484778647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Trivia

  • This book starts immediately after the events of "Voodoo? You Do" and continues through "Hooked On Ben", and then a few days afterwards.

Video

"CJ's Treasure Chase" A Descendants Novel Disney Descendants-000:31

"CJ's Treasure Chase" A Descendants Novel Disney Descendants-0


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Media

Films: Descendants | Descendants 2
Web Series: School of SecretsDescendants: Wicked World
Video Games: Descendants: Isle of the Lost Rush
Music: Soundtrack
Books: Isle of the Lost: A Descendants NovelDisney Descendants YearbookDisney Descendants: Secrets of Auradon Prep: Insider's HandbookDescendants: Mal's Spell BookDescendants: Junior NovelDescendants: Mal's DiaryReturn to the Isle of the Lost: A Descendants NovelDescendants: Wicked World Wish Granted Cinestory Comic Volume 1Descendants: Wicked World Cinestory Comic, Vol. 2Descendants: Wicked World Cinestory Comic Volume 3Descendants: Wicked World Cinestory Comic Vol. 4Disney Descendants: Up Close!School of Secrets: CJ's Treasure ChaseSchool of Secrets: Freddie's Shadow CardsSchool of Secrets: Ally's Mad MysteryAuradon Prep Spirit Book: Highlights and MemoriesRise of the Isle of the Lost: A Descendants NovelMal's Spell Book 2: More Wicked MagicDescendants 2: Junior NovelDescendants 2: Evie's Fashion Book

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