Cover image for Ollie and the science of treasure hunting : a 14 day mystery
Title:
Ollie and the science of treasure hunting : a 14 day mystery
Author:
Dionne, Erin, 1975-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, [2014]
Physical Description:
269 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
While spending two weeks at Wilderness Camp on the Boston Harbor Islands, thirteen-year-old Ollie, short, half Vietnamese, asthmatic, and overweight, must find and protect hidden pirate treasure from those who would steal it for themselves.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.7 9.0 169249.
ISBN:
9780803738720
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

This companion to the Edgar Award nominee MOXIE AND THE ART OF RULE BREAKING, which SLJ called "a breathless thrill ride," features hidden pirate treasure and a high-stakes game of tag - just what you'd expect from summer camp!

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.


Author Notes

Erin Dionne is the author of Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies , The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet , Notes from an Accidental Band Geek, and Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking , which was nominated for an Edgar award. Erin writes about the miseries, mysteries, and magic of middle school, and teaches liberal arts at a small college north of Boston. She lives with her family in Framingham, Massachusetts.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ollie is hoping for some anonymity at wilderness camp after his hectic art recovery mission with his best friend in Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking (2013). Unfortunately for him, his sleuthing skills precede him, and he unwittingly finds himself lured into a hunt for lost pirate treasure. Nothing could be worse for asthmatic Ollie than the island environment, replete with humidity, heat, sand, and speedboat chases. But Ollie stoically turns challenges into opportunities that he cannot resist. Bolstered by the knowledge that his FBI-agent friend is just a phone call away, Ollie and a selection of allies shrug off the potential danger, determined to find the treasure. A cast of likable campers, each with his or her own quirks midnight swimmer, sensitive to sun, cartography genius drive this fast-paced adventure led by a camp ranger with a gambling problem. Nothing should surprise readers in this thoroughly satisfying tale of friendship, intrigue, and Boston Harbor Island topography.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2010 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Meet Ollie, a chubby asthmatic who is anything but athletic yet holds a talent for geocaching and getting into trouble. After helping his friend uncover valuable art, Ollie is strongly advised by the FBI to keep a low profile. Yet secrets, diamonds, and a shifty Park Ranger all play a role in Ollie's two-week "quiet" escape at Wilderness Scout camp. Initially, Ollie's outing is filled with merit badge activities and befriending his fellow scouts. The trouble really begins when Ranger Johnson asks Ollie to help him uncover pirate Long Ben Avery's long lost treasure. Dionne's novel pushes the classic adventure story into the 21st-century. While the plot initially develops slowly, the short chapters alternate between activities in Ollie's days, focusing on clues and people of interest. Environmental description paired with traditional scouting events keep readers immersed in the Boston Harbor Islands with Troop Seven. At times, the many secondary characters are difficult to keep track of, yet Ollie's quirky tent mates are authentic and memorable. Tween readers will cheer on the atypical protagonist as he outwits bullies, uncovers pirate booty, and ultimately grows into a leader among his peers. A solid scouting adventure for fans of realistic fiction.-Mary-Brook J. Townsend, The McGillis School, Salt Lake City, UT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

"Stay out of trouble." Kids hear that all the time, and most of the time we barely pay attention. But when an FBI agent says it, and it's the fourth time in two weeks that you've been to the federal building in Boston? You listen. Or try to. My mom, Agent Goh, and the lawyer who my dad insisted be present after our second trip--but who didn't seem to do anything other than drink more cups of coffee than was humanly possible--were in Conference Room B, the same one I'd been in the other three times I'd been "debriefed." That was a nice way of saying "questioned until I couldn't remember my name anymore." Agent Goh leaned across the table, his gelled spiky black hair glittering in the overhead light. "Stay out of trouble for me, okay?" he repeated, but this time with less of an "I'm an FBI agent" serious ring to it and more like the tired way my homeroom teacher last year would say it, when she'd get a headache and pinch the bridge of her nose. "Stay out of trouble, lay low. And have fun." He leaned back in his chair. "Geocache. Hang out by the campfire. Swim." Then he turned his gaze to my mom. "Mrs. Truong, thank you for being so understanding. We believe this is the best course of action for Oliver. It will keep him out of the spotlight and let us wrap up the case against James O'Sullivan." My mom, whose hands were folded together so tightly the knuckles were white, gave a curt nod, like her neck was wound too tight and it hurt her to move it. "Of course. He loves camp. It just seems so soon  . . ." She trailed off and took a minute to sweep a stray piece of sandy hair behind her ear. My mom's had the same hairstyle ever since I can remember--and has swept the same piece of hair back forever--but today the gesture revealed how tired she was. And for the four thousandth time since all of this started, I felt bad. I hadn't understood what solving one of the biggest crimes in Boston would do to my family. Everyone was stressed. News vans and reporters had been camped out in front of our house for days . This morning, Mom and I had to leave through the back door and cut through our neighbor's yard to get out without them seeing us. My dad had taken two weeks out of work--weeks he'd been saving so we could go to Vietnam and visit my grandmother in the fall. That trip would be rescheduled. Even my little sister, LeeLee, was freaked out. She'd wet the bed three times last week, and she hadn't done that in over a year. "You're not in any danger, and neither is Ollie," Agent Goh said. "We're confident that Sully and his daughter were working alone. We just need to keep Ollie out of the media spotlight so we can do our jobs. The media glut has been a bit . . . distracting." Their "jobs" were collecting evidence from the three historical landmarks my best friend Moxie and I had broken in to or defaced in our quest to find over $500 million in art stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum--which we'd found, and returned, and were each $2.5 million richer because of it. Or we would be, when they finished verifying the paintings' authenticity. But thanks to some guy who worked in the restoration department at the museum and had visions of being a TV star, our names had been splashed all over the media--a "distraction" for the FBI, but miserable for me, Moxie, and our families. Mom sighed, and I felt lower than a snail's butt. Staying out of trouble had always been pretty easy for me. When you're short, a mix of Caucasian/Vietnamese, asthmatic, overweight, and look a little too much like the kid in that animated movie about the old guy who floats his house away with a zillion balloons, there isn't much trouble to get into. I played video games, geocached, and hung out with my friend Moxie--who was already on her way to New Hampshire with her mom and her mom's boyfriend (that was their solution to the "lay low for a couple of weeks" directive). My parents couldn't get more time off work, so I'd be heading to Wilderness Scout camp on the Boston Harbor Islands. My troop was scheduled to go in August, but the FBI wouldn't let me wait that long--so I was going with another troop from Boston, with a bunch of guys I didn't know. Not that I cared much. After spending two weeks either dodging reporters or in Conference Room B, I was ready to get outside and away from this stuff. Staying out of trouble? No problem. Riiiighhhht. . . . WILDERNESS SCOUTS TROOP 7 Harbor Islands Camping Trip Roster--July 18-August 1 To: All Troop 7 Scouts attending the BHI Camping Trip From: Scoutmaster Fuentes Subject: Orienteering Challenge To kick off our 2 weeks of summer camp, we're beginning with the annual Orienteering Challenge/Scavenger Hunt. Below are a series of coordinates and clues that you must navigate to find our departure point. Our boat leaves promptly at 2 pm; the challenge begins at 1pm. Good luck! 1 pm: Begin at N42 21.60384 W71 3.37272 • Find the statue of someone named Red. What's he holding? • Cross the Greenway, but instead of an X, these "rings" mark a spot. How many are there, and what is it? • Who barks at N42 21 32.87 W71 2 58.79? • Not a rose, but close! We salute you. • End coordinates: N42.3564864 W -71.049773 DAY 1 1 Here's how you get into trouble trying to find a boat: Get there first. * * * "Not a rose, but close . . . Not a rose, but close . . ." I squinted at the clue again. I was standing just past the New England Aquarium, the sea lions in their outdoor tank barking for more tiny fish from the handlers. The first of Scoutmaster Fuentes's riddles were really easy for me to solve: the Red Aubach statue in Faneuil Hall, the Rings Fountain on the Greenway, and the aquarium's sea lions. But the rose one? This was tough. I closed my eyes, turned the riddle over in my head: Not a rose, but close. Where were there roses in Boston? That's when I realized I was "distracted by the shiny," as Moxie says. Sometimes, when you're trying to find something, it's actually right in front of you--you just can't see it because you're looking at something else bigger and shinier. The word rose was a distraction--the crux of the clue was "We salute you." What do we salute? The flag. That was it! There was a giant flag in downtown Boston--at Rowes Wharf! I headed down Atlantic Avenue, the aquarium behind me, dodging tourists and people dressed for work, and soon came to the giant rotunda at the Boston Harbor Hotel. The flag that waved in the wind there was taller than my house. I stood underneath it and typed the final set of coordinates in my handheld GPS, then took off. The traffic on Atlantic Avenue struggled past, the cars' exhaust adding to the heat of the morning. I swiped my forearm across my brow--a Wilderness Scout no-no; we were supposed to use a handkerchief when in uniform--but the sweat came right back. The GPS chimed. I glanced down. Direction shift. East. I turned left, onto the Harbor Walk--this cool paved path that had been built along Boston's waterfront, behind all the hotels, restaurants, and shops. Moxie and I had plans to walk the whole thing this summer, but that hadn't happened. Most of our summer plans had recently changed. The GPS chimed again. North. I turned. Sweat rolled down my back. I'd have a wet patch there when I took my pack off. Now the water was to my left, a swanky apartment building was on my right. Sweet boats--so sweet they had decks and wooden trim and, from what I could see through the windows, TVs larger than the one in my house--were docked all along the route. Would I be getting on one of those? The GPS arrow started blinking, which was how it signaled that I was approaching the destination coordinates. I looked all around. A big boat--really big, like, it had a helicopter landing pad on it--was parked in front of me. Seriously? Wilderness Scout Troop 7 sprang for a yacht?! No way. Not possible. I was the first person here. I stopped in front of the yacht. My GPS was blinking like crazy. This was the spot. I checked my watch: Fifteen minutes to spare. No Wilderness Scout troop could afford a yacht with a helipad. What the . . . ? Then, over the lapping of the water came a cross between a bleat and a honk. It sounded like a sick goose. I walked down the length of the yacht, toward the harbor. A regular harbor islands ferry bobbed in the water. The horn blatted again. Typical Boston, I thought. It's a fight over a parking space. A few bleats later, a very sleepy-looking guy appeared on the deck of the yacht. There was some yelling--apparently the slip was supposed to be empty and ready for the island hopper boat we'd be taking--and then the yacht started rumbling and two other guys materialized to untie it. "Yeah, baby! That makes six years. In. A. Row!" The shout came from behind me, at the head of the pier. I followed the sound. A tall, lanky kid with sandy hair, an untucked uniform, and a smug expression leaned against one of the concrete pilings, pack at his feet. "Hey," I said, sticking out my hand. "I'm Ollie." He shook it, hard. "Derek. Troop leader. I didn't think any other troops were coming on this trip," he said, gesturing to my Troop 5 patch. "I'm provo with Troop Seven," I explained. "Oh. Were you dropped off or somethin'?" "No," I responded, not understanding what he was getting at. Then it clicked: He thought he'd won the orienteering challenge to find the boat. "I got here first," I said, a prickle of anxiety finding its way into my stomach. His brow furrowed. "Not possible," he said. "Uh . . . yeah. It was a good course, though--I nearly got tripped up with the Rowes Wharf clue," I said, hoping this wasn't as big a deal as his scowl made it seem to be. A dark shadow came over Derek's face, and he stepped away from me. Just then, three other uniformed scouts came around the corner and introduced themselves. One, Steve, had a mess of dreadlocks tied at the nape of his neck and a Troop Leader patch sewn onto the pocket of his uniform. The other two guys were high school age too--one, with broad shoulders and close-cropped hair, introduced himself as Pete, and the other, with dark hair and a pierced ear, was Horatio. All three of them looked a little surprised to see me there. "D?" Troop leader Steve raised his hand in a celebratory high five. "Six years, right?" Derek turned to me, eyes hard. "Nah," he said. With an eardrum-busting honk, the yacht unmoored and steered out to sea. Everyone stopped. And looked. At me. My ears turned pink. "Hey. I'm Ollie. I'm provo with you guys." "Wait--hey. You're THE KID!" Steve pointed at me. "The art kid!" My mouth went dry. Crud. I'd been counting on the fact that kids don't pay attention to the news in the summer. Wrong assumption. "Uh . . ." I said. "Seriously. It was you, wasn't it? You found all that art!" He gave my backpack a friendly slap, which sent me staggering forward. The other guys circled, like sharks smelling a kill. "Well," I tried. Agent Goh had coached me on what to say in this situation--"I can't really talk about that" was his best suggestion, which sounded better in Conference Room B than it did out here. These guys wanted details ; ones that I seriously wasn't allowed to give. "What's going on? What happened? Is that our boat? Who's that guy?" A kid shorter than me, with a pack twice his size, showed up at my elbow. He nearly vibrated with intensity. "Derek, you won, right? Six years in a row! I'll never win. I can't seem to follow the directions on the screen--" One of the other scouts cut him off. "Derek didn't make it. This is Ollie--the kid who found all that art a few weeks ago. He beat him." The new kid offered me a high five, which I wasn't sure if I should accept. I gave a light one in return. Derek seemed downright sulky . "You beat Derek?! He's been first every year since he graduated to full scout level! That's so awesome. You're a detective too! You must be really smart--and good at orienteering and stuff--to take him out. I mean, no one ever does that!" He kept talking, and Derek's scowl got deeper. The other scouts were getting a kick out of it, nudging one another. One of them gestured to me and I caught the words Dr. Watson . Diving into the harbor seemed like a good plan. I waited for another second. The kid wasn't going to stop talking. So I interrupted and asked his name. "Chris," he said, and stuck his hand out. "Troop Seven." "Ollie," I said, shaking his hand. More scouts trickled onto the dock, and Chris proudly told every one of them that I'd beaten Derek in orienteering. At least it changed the subject from how I'd spent my summer vacation so far. "Hey, Dr. Watson! Help us find the gangplank," troop leader Steve called. "Time to board." "Lay low," Agent Goh had said. Or . . . not. * * * The boat moved far enough into the harbor to put on speed. The engines got louder, and Horatio and Pete, who were leaning against the railing near me, jumped--then ragged on each other for being startled. "Hey! Hey!" Chris tugged on my sleeve. "Hey! Is that a whale? 'Cause I think it's a whale. Didja see it? See the shadow? Look!" His Wilderness Scout uniform looked a little . . . bulky . . . on him. Did he have padding on under there? "I don't think it's a whale," I said. "What was the deal back there? With Derek?" "No! Seriously! Look!" He tugged and pointed again, and, caving, I followed the line of his finger with my eyes--grayish blue water, relatively calm under the blue sky. I spotted the dark shape he was so jazzed over. "It's not a whale." "C'mon!" "Sorry, but it's not a whale," I repeated. "How do you know, huh?" "Because . . ." I pointed up. "It's the shadow from that cloud." Chris followed the line of my finger to the puffy white cloud making its lazy way across the sky. "Oh." The corners of his mouth drooped and his hair even sagged a little. "It was the right shape and stuff, though," I offered, wanting to cheer him up. "I know, right? I mean, it totally looked like one. I couldn't believe it." He went on about the cloud whale for another minute, then cut himself off. "Sorry--you asked me about Derek. He wins orienteering challenges. Like, every year." Chris shrugged. "He takes it really, really seriously. I bet you could guess." "Seemed that way." "So, I gotta ask you about the art stuff. Was it crazy? How'd you find it? Did you look for clues? How'd you even get into it?" Chris's questions washed over me while I thought about how to even begin answering them. It really wasn't my adventure. I was helping Moxie and got caught up in the whole thing. "He didn't do any of it." Derek was back. Horatio and Pete moved closer. "According to the paper, his girl friend found all the art; he was just in the right place at the right time." He paused, taking a quick glance around at his audience. "What'd you do? Hold her purse the whole time?" Whoa. I hadn't expected this-- lots of questions, sure. Some jealousy, maybe. But defending my role? No. I'd done plenty, but how was I going to explain that? How could I explain that, when I was under orders not to talk about what happened? My stomach churned; not from the boat. "I helped plenty," I said, hating the lame way it sounded to my own ears. "The only thing this guy's found this summer was the boat!" Derek cackled. I cringed, wishing I was good at sharp comebacks. The guys--Chris, Pete, Horatio, and one or two others who'd wandered over while Derek was messing with me--cracked up. "Oooh, burn !" one jeered. Derek opened his mouth again, but before he could speak the other troop leader came over to us. "Dude! There you are! I've been looking for you." "Why didn't you ask Dr. Watson over here to find me?" Derek responded, on a roll. "He could ask someone where I was." "Don't be a jerk. You're a troop leader, remember?" Steve directed at him. "Derek is a total idiot," he said to me. "But that's beside the point. I have the stickers! And names." A triumphant smile spread across his face. "Yeah!" Chris and the others cheered. Even Mouthy Derek grinned. What were they talking about? "It's Gotcha!" Pete said, catching my confused expression. "The Gotcha! game?" Steve tried. I shook my head. "Provo," sneered Derek. Steve ignored him and pulled a package of round red stickers out of a pocket. "It's easy," he explained. He tore two sheets of red ones in thirds, and handed Derek, Chris, Pete, Horatio, and me each a section dotted with three stickers. "I give you the name of a scout. Tag him with the red sticker to take him out of the game. You get the name of the person he's supposed to tag and his extra red stickers. Get that guy. And so on. Last man standing wins. No playing in camp sessions or in the campsite--we keep it on the down low. Campsite and bonfire are safe zones." I grinned and stuffed the stickers in my pocket, then picked a folded slip of paper out of Steve's baseball hat. Although our troop doesn't do anything like this, we play some pretty epic games of Manhunt on camping trips. Besides, I have a knack for finding things--right? This was up my alley. Going provo would work out after all. "I've been the last man standing for three years in a row," Derek crowed. "And I'm not seeing any new competition." "Then you need glasses," I snapped, finally putting the right words together. "You're going down ." Derek and the others shoved off after we got our stickers. "Gotcha! is really awesome," Chris said, vibrating again. "Last year, it came down to Derek and this other kid, a senior, and Derek hid in a tree for hours to get him. He even missed lunch and nearly blew the game. He's a jerk, but really good. Last year I kept a list of who got out and who was still in; I'll do that this time too, just so we can see who's left and guess who has who, 'cause you're not really supposed to tell that stuff. But people totally do, especially to the guys in your cabin. Want to be in my cabin?" I was only half listening to Chris. My brain buzzed from the run-in with Derek. Defending the Gardner stuff every time I saw him would get old, fast. And what was up with the sidekick comments? Had the papers really presented me that way? Like Moxie had done all the work? I mean, she'd had that geometry proof, but . . . "Hey--space shot." Chris nudged me. "Sorry." "'S okay," he said. "Mom says my talking tires people out." He shrugged. "Anyway, want to be in my cabin?" "Yeah," I said, glad that he'd asked. Chris seemed like a good guy, and I wasn't sure about anyone else. "How'd you do in last year's Gotcha! game?" I asked, before he let loose another verbal tsunami. "Oh. Well, uhh, I usually get out pretty early," Chris mumbled. "They say I'm an easy target because I don't shut up--people just follow my voice and find me. Which is true--technically. Not that I'm an easy target, but I do talk a lot . . ." As Chris went on, I spotted our island, Lovells, getting closer. Despite the start to the trip, excitement bled through me. My family had visited Lovells on our harbor tour a few weeks ago--which felt like last year, so much had happened since then--and I couldn't wait to explore it. Lovells Island has a pre-World War I fort on it, and the top of the battlement is visible from the water. The beach beyond the dock is white, dotted with lots of rocks. A hill covered with reedy grass comes after the sand, and then the woods starts. My family's tour guide explained that each of the thirty-four Boston Harbor Islands has its own secrets: pirate treasure on Gallops Island, a ghost on George's Island, Revolutionary War battlements and World War II hospitals on others. Our campsite on Lovells would be near the fort, and before I'd left I'd printed out the Parks Service geocaching sites to check out. I also wanted to leave one or two of my own. "We're coming in!" The scoutmaster, Mr. Fuentes, ranged around the boat, telling us to grab our packs and get ready. I slung my pack over my shoulders, knees buckling a little under its weight. Chris noticed. "Heavy. Mine too." The list of things we couldn't bring on the trip was fairly short: anything electronic, with the exception of a handheld GPS device and a digital camera. No phones, no DVD players, no gaming devices--nothin'. However, we made up for the lack of technology with what we had to bring: aside from clothes, we had to provide our own snacks--for two weeks!--sleeping bag, towel, swim trunks, bug repellent, camping knife, sunscreen, canteen/water bottle, and other stuff. My bag was as stuffed as my little sister after eating all her Halloween candy. The boat bumped up against the dock, and a couple of the older scouts--Derek and Steve among them--jumped out to tie it to the cleats. "Gangplank's down!" Mr. Fuentes called. "Let's do this!" Chris beelined for the ramp. I took a deep breath. Hard part of the summer is over, I reminded myself as I stepped onto the wooden planks of the dock. Time to get back to normal. But as Derek stuck an elbow into my pack, sending me off balance and nearly crashing into the kid next to me, I wasn't so sure. * * * We hoofed it off the dock and across the beach, where I fought soft sand, hot sun, and a nagging tightness in my lungs. I didn't want to use my inhaler before we even got to the cabins. The wet patch on my back returned. "Pick it up, scouts!" called one of the other scouts, a tall guy with dark hair. "Let's get there before the sun goes down." Chris rolled his eyes. "That's Doug. He wants to be a Marine. I think he pretends he's a drill sergeant at boot camp and we're his underling-guys. Too bad he's the klutziest scout ever; no one takes him seriously." Finally, we crossed into the shade of the trees, and once the walking got easier my lungs stopped feeling like they were two sizes too small. But we traded easier walking for swarms of tiny no-see-ums, which buzzed around my head. I swatted them away, wishing I'd dug out the bug spray while on the boat. A few minutes later, the trail we were on opened into a clearing. "Home sweet home!" called Steve. I looked up, expecting to see the wood-framed cabins my troop stayed in when we camped at Fort Dix last year. "What're those?" I whispered to Chris. He cocked his head at me. "Our cabins." He spoke slowly and carefully, like I was someone who didn't understand English. "Those aren't cabins," I began. "They're--" But before I could get the words out, a now-familiar voice cut me off, jeering. "Aw, Provo, what'd you expect? Room service and the Four Seasons?" I ignored him. "Forget it," I directed to Chris. Instead of wooden cabins, olive-colored tents were set up on platforms in three rows of three tents each. The tents would be large enough to sleep four or six kids, and were tall enough to stand in--cabins made of cloth. Mr. Fuentes called us together. He took his hat off and wiped his forehead with a dark handkerchief. With his shaved head, gold hoop earring, and goatee, he looked like a pirate. Along with everyone else, I dropped my pack at my feet. Immediately, my shoulders thanked me. I did a quick count of the scouts: Derek and Steve, me and Chris, Doug the Klutzy Drill Sergeant, Pete and Horatio, four guys I'd seen on the dock but who stayed in the boat's cabin the whole time, and Ravi Gupta and his dad, the trip's parent volunteer, who worked with my dad at the Brigham hospital. Ravi was older than me--he was going to be a sophomore or junior--but we'd hung out a few times when our families had gotten together. He was okay. It was his dad who suggested I go provo with the troop once everything went down. Dr. Gupta gave me a slight nod. I nodded back. "Okay, guys," Mr. Fuentes began. "Grab a tent, unpack your stuff, and meet at the campfire in one hour to get the schedule and dinner. Steve and Derek, our troop leaders, get the tent at the edge of the clearing. No more than four to a tent. Hustle!" The group broke apart. Chris and I were joined by two of the inside-the-boat kids: a lanky kid named Manny whose glasses were thicker than mine, and a guy with orange hair whose skin was so white it was almost translucent. "Jack," he said, and stuck out his hand. We shook. "Over here!" Manny called. He snagged the tent at the far end of the middle row, closest to the woods. We grabbed our packs and headed over. "Home sweet home," he said, pulling the flap back. "And perfect for sneaking out." 3 What was Manny thinking? I ducked through the tent flap and into the musty-smelling space I'd be calling home for the next fourteen days. "Not again, dude!" Chris groaned and tossed his pack at one of the pallets on the floor where we'd spread our sleeping bags. "Last year, Manny's goal was to beat curfew every night and go for a midnight swim. He nearly did it, but three days before we were supposed to leave, Mr. Fuentes caught him and we ended up having a troop leader bunk with us for the rest of the time. "A troop leader who snored," he added. While talking, he picked his pack up, tipped it over, shook it, and dumped his stuff on the pallet. A huge wad of clothes plopped out, a giant jar of peanut butter wedged into the middle of it like a birthday candle in a wrinkly cupcake. "With a fourth in our tent it'll be harder for them to put a troop leader in here without moving someone out," Jack pointed out. "You're both just bummed I didn't make the record," Manny said. "I'm gonna do it this year! Look." He showed us how the bottom edge of the tent was torn, detached from the base. There was plenty of room for a kid to sneak through the hole. And it was on the side closest to the woods, not the other tents. It'd be easy to get out. "You in?" Manny asked me. I shrugged. "I dunno. It's not my thing." Honestly, I am not that great a swimmer, so night escapes to the beach didn't interest me. I freed my sleeping bag from my pack and spread it out, then quickly piled my clothes and gear next to it. "You don't come, you cover," he said. "No problem," I answered, ignoring Agent Goh's voice in my head. This wasn't real trouble, this was just camp stuff. Dr. Gupta stuck his head into the tent. "Ollie. Chris. Jack," he said, checking us off on a clipboard. "Manny." He sighed. "Oh, Manny. You're not going to give Mr. Fuentes trouble this year, are you? No escape artist shenanigans, okay?" "Hey, Doc G. we're cool," Manny said, giving him a cheesy, big-eyed, innocent expression. "I'm reformed." Dr. Gupta didn't buy it either. "Glad to hear it," he said dryly. "I'll be watching. Ollie, can you come out here for a moment?" The guys turned to me. I shrugged. "Sure." I slipped out the tent flap. Dr. Gupta stepped a few paces away from the tent, toward the woods. I followed. "I know you've had a  . . . ah  . . . busy summer thus far," he said. He pointed to the tents, miming that others could hear. I nodded, my stomach crawling with snakes of anxiety. Where was this going? "I just want you to know that I have a cell phone and you can use it if you need to. If any information comes my way, I'll pass it along." "Um, thanks, sir," I said, uncomfortable. There wasn't any info that I was hoping to hear--other than that the news had moved on to something else. "Now . . . relax," he said. He smiled and clapped a warm brown hand on my shoulder, giving me a gentle shake. "Enjoy the scenery." "Sure. Thanks." I stepped away from him and returned to the tent. Camp was supposed to be an escape from this stuff, but I felt just as scrutinized as I had at home. "I take that as a challenge," Manny was saying to Chris as I entered. "Son of a--" Jack said. He checked all of the pockets of his empty pack, then shook it out over his sleeping bag like he was hoping something would Harry Potter itself out of there. "Crap. I forgot sunscreen." "You can use mine," I offered, stepping to my pile of stuff. I had a brand-new bottle. Jack glanced at it. Excerpted from Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting by Erin Dionne All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.