Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting: A Book Review

Hi!

Ollie and the Science of Treasure HuntingTitle: Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting

Author: Erin Dionne

Published: July 10th, 2014 by Dial

Pages: 269

Genre: Middle Grade / Mystery

Source: Publisher / Hardcover

Series: Yes! See my review for the first book, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, HERE.

Summary: While at Wilderness camp on the Boston Harbor Islands, Ollie must navigate new friends, new enemies, and a high-stakes game of tag, so the last thing he needs is a mystery. But then Ollie meets Grey, an elusive girl with knowledge of the island’s secrets, including the legend of a lost pirate treasure, which may not be a legend after all. The sidekick steps into the spotlight as Ollie uses his wits and geocaching skills to keep long-lost treasure out of the wrong hands in this exciting adventure-mystery from fan-favorite middle grade author Erin Dionne. {Goodreads}

My Thoughts: I have liked, and more often than not, LOVED, Erin Dionne’s middle grade novels. From relatable characters to entertaining and well-paced story lines, her books are ones I can always count on to make me smile. And so, I was super-duper excited to get an early look at Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting, the companion novel to another outstanding mystery, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking. Ollie was one of my favorite parts in Moxie’s adventures, and I found reading about his own experiences just as enjoyable. Erin Dionne’s great novel streak continues!

After Ollie and his best friend, Moxie, solved the mystery of the great Isabella Stewart Gardner heist, their lives turned upside down. To escape the media frenzy, the FBI and his parents thought it would be best to send Ollie off to camp, and that’s when the adventure begins. Despite the craziness he had just endured, you would think that Ollie would lie low, right!? However, when one park ranger requests his help in looking for pirate treasure, he finds the offer tough to turn down. Mysteries being some of my favorite books to read, I tend to be tougher on the story development. Thankfully, the author had near all of it down. The only point where I was a bit puzzled at the flow of the story was at the very end. While I understood the motives of the characters present, I had a hard time believing that the actions would unfold in such a way – and at such quick of a pace!

Erin Dionne’s past books have all featured girls as the protagonists, so I was bit curious {and a tad concerned} to see how her ability would translate with Ollie as the main character. On top of that, there were very few girls involved in this mystery; Grey was the only one with a semi-prominent role. Thankfully, my initial worries quickly went away. Ollie was developed and demonstrated growth from beginning to end. I personally thought he gained more confidence, and as a reader who appreciates unlikely heroes, I liked that he had his quirks! Even better? You can add this story to your list of examples of diversity in middle grade. I was happy to see that this aspect didn’t make Ollie who he was – in other words, it was never overwhelming, just a supplementing detail!

Dionne also nailed developing an atmosphere of an all-boys camp. I won’t lie and say that I liked all of the campers {I rolled my eyes more than once at some of their antics}, but I can’t deny their perfect development as supporting characters. My favorite was Chris, with his note-worthy dialogue and sidekick qualities. Could he get a companion novel too? :)

Overall, I have no problems recommending both stories involving Moxie and Ollie. Mystery lovers, males and females will adore this one, as will any Erin Dionne fan!

Pros:  The development of the main character and secondary characters was well-done, and their interactions kept the story moving at a nice pace. The mystery is plenty interesting; readers should have no problem staying engaged.

Cons: My only complaint is the last few chapters. I found it a bit over-the-top and even out-of-place compared with the other 95% of the book. However, like the rest of the story, it IS entertaining to read about. I’m conflicted.

Heads Up: Like the first book, there are “bad” guys and some violence, but nothing that the intended audience shouldn’t be able to handle.

Overall:  I give it 4 1/2 stars {**** 1/2}, and I recommend it for ages 11 and up.

I was provided with an ARC copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion. This in no way swayed my review. Pinky promise!

Have a lovely rest of your day!

Bella

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4 thoughts on “Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting: A Book Review

  1. […] review a book. Penguin contacted me in the summer of 2014 to see if I would like a review copy of Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting by Erin Dionne {my post is linked!}. I rarely, if ever, seek out advance readers’ copies, so receiving their […]

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