Title: Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter
Author: Beth McMullen
Genre: Middle Grade
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Stuart Gibbs meets The Lost Property Office in this action-packed mystery about a young girl searching for her father from the author of Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls—the first in a new series!
Having a world-traversing archaeologist dad means twelve-year-old Lola Benko is used to moving around not putting down roots anywhere. But every day and every hunt for something hidden is an adventure, and no matter what, she and her dad are an unbeatable team.
Then her father disappears. The official story is that he was caught in a flash flood, but Lola’s research shows the day in question was perfectly pleasant. And it will take more than empty reassurances from suspect strangers for Lola to give up on her dad. She has a feeling his disappearance has to do with a mythical stone he was studying—a stone so powerful, it could control the world. But in the wrong hands, it could end it, too…
With the help of some new friends at her school, it’s up to Lola to go on the most important search of her life.
Lola Benko has always traveled the world with her archaeologist father, but one day he sends her to stay with her great-aunt in San Francisco, rather than go with him on a dangerous trip. Soon after that, she gets the news that he has disappeared and is presumed dead. Lola is certain that her father is still alive, so she takes over the investigation that he was doing. Along with her new friends from school, she looks for the mythical stone that her father was searching for when he went missing.
This was a fun adventure story. Lola took a lot of risks. In order to start her investigation of her father’s disappearance, she needed money, so she decided to steal expensive pieces of art to sell for millions of dollars. This was a risky thing to do, and it didn’t work out for her. Even though Lola did some bad things with good intentions, she was very smart. She entered a STEM competition with her friends. She also invented many devices. She was a smart girl who took a lot of risks.
I found the twists predictable and not surprising. I’ve read many similar adventure books, so that may be why I could figure it out. This story also has the stereotypical absent parents. Lola’s great-aunt wasn’t very hands-on because she had agoraphobia, so she never left the house. However, she didn’t seem as concerned about Lola’s whereabouts by the end of the story. I would have liked her great-aunt to be more consistent throughout the story. I enjoyed the adventure that Lola went on, though the twists weren’t surprising.
This is a fun middle grade story!
Thank you Simon and Schuster for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen
Jinxed by Amy McCulloch
Have you read Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter? What did you think of it?