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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 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.


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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 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.

50 review for Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)

    This was a fun middle grade adventure story and although I enjoyed it I just didn't think it was adventurous enough for me. Lola has travelled all over the world with her treasure hunting father. She has been to all sorts of schools and doesn't have any friends because she is never in one place long enough. Then her father all of a sudden tells her she is going to go and live with her great Aunt in California because he has something he needs to do that is to dangerous for her to tag along. Not lo This was a fun middle grade adventure story and although I enjoyed it I just didn't think it was adventurous enough for me. Lola has travelled all over the world with her treasure hunting father. She has been to all sorts of schools and doesn't have any friends because she is never in one place long enough. Then her father all of a sudden tells her she is going to go and live with her great Aunt in California because he has something he needs to do that is to dangerous for her to tag along. Not long after she is with her Aunt than two mysterious agents show up telling them that her father has died. Lola doesn't believe it so she decides she is going to try and figure out a way to prove her father is alive. The only thing is that it's expensive to travel so she has several mishaps with the law trying to find her father that lands her in Redwood her latest school. It's her last attempt to lead a normal life instead of ending up in jail. While there she meets Jin who is all about winning the STEM competition against his nemesis Hannah who ends up blackmailing her way into their adventure when Lola tells Jin about not believing her father is dead. Then when the Lipstick lady shows up giving her a bit of a hint about things it sends them on a short lived adventure. So lets talk about the characters. Maybe Lola will grow on me a bit more in the second book should I read it but she was a bit self absorbed and I didn't like the fact that she was basically a buddy criminal mastermind in the making and didn't see how what she was doing was damaging. Jin was fun but he had a hard time getting his head out of the I need to win the STEM contest so I can go to NASA mode to be very helpful. Hannah I think I liked her most of all the characters because I think she was just a bit misunderstood. She came from a bit more of a lower income family so being in Redwood and winning the STEM competition was something I think her mother wanted more than her but she nevertheless was very smart with electronics. I thought I was going to be in for a fun adventure story where kids were going treasure hunting (see book title) but there really wasn't must adventure until you reach about 60% into the book. I am not going to stay it was all dull up until then but just not very adventurous as I was hoping it would be. Now with some things resolved in this book maybe the next one will be more adventurous (at least I assume there will be another one because of how it ended) and I really hope so as I would like to continue with the series but only time will tell how I feel by the time it comes out. Despite all that I didn't hate the book I thought it was a decent middle grade book (though didn't like the criminal things the MC did) and I think that younger readers might enjoy it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steff Pasciuti

    | Read the review on Reader Fox Blog | I feel bad, but I honestly kind of hated Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter by Beth McMullen. The book, as a whole, held so much promise and delivered on exactly none of it. If you’re looking for an adventure-filled, Indiana Jones-esque tale about a young girl raised as an explorer/treasure hunter as she goes on an exciting and dangerous journey to find her missing father...this is not the book you want to read. And that fact alone is what truly killed any po | Read the review on Reader Fox Blog | I feel bad, but I honestly kind of hated Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter by Beth McMullen. The book, as a whole, held so much promise and delivered on exactly none of it. If you’re looking for an adventure-filled, Indiana Jones-esque tale about a young girl raised as an explorer/treasure hunter as she goes on an exciting and dangerous journey to find her missing father...this is not the book you want to read. And that fact alone is what truly killed any possibility of me enjoying this novel. It does not for one second live up to the promise made by its cover and synopsis. If I could describe this book in one word that word would be disappointing. Lola Benko, Annoying Brat Honestly, the worst part about this book is that Lola is an incredibly self-important snot. She is completely dismissing of any adult input--all of the adults in this novel are also inept, which only makes it worse--and throws herself into ridiculous situations every time you turn the page. With the fact that McMullen is clearly trying to keep this story somewhat realistic, Lola's journey to find her missing father feels useless which only results in making the end feel very contrived. There's very little to endear me to Lola as she comes off as an inept and narcissistic pre-teen who is convinced that she is the only competent person alive. This is kind of hilarious, too, since she is utterly inept at nearly everything she does. She reads like a girl playing at hero despite having none of the skills to actually do so. Thus, Lola ends up throwing herself and her "friends" into ever-increasingly dangerous situations that none of them are truly prepared to deal with. I'll give McMullen credit here with the fact that she occasionally takes advantage of how useless Lola is and has her fail on numerous occasions, so at least Lola is realistic. That said, everything she succeeds at has more to do with luck than anything else thanks to the girl's lack of skills in a number of areas. I never really got the sense that Lola was smart, but rather that she had one moderate tinkering skill and just spent the rest of the book floundering and stumbling upon success at random intervals. This, of course, led to some serious deus ex machina. Making friends. So, all of the kids in this story are kind of dumb. They're incredibly inept, making their attempt at an Indiana Jones -esque adventure really difficult to appreciate. Also, with the exception of perhaps Jin, none of the characters are really all that likable? Lola is by far the worst. She only cares about finding her father, will use anyone she can to achieve this goal, is deeply inconsiderate and downright rude in nearly all of her thoughts, and doesn't ever actually do anything useful. She repeatedly stumbles across just what she needs simply by chance every time. And being inside her head for the entire book was honestly agony. Jin, while not terrible, is hyper-focused on winning a competition and beating his arch-nemesis, a girl who is the only one he thinks might have a chance of beating him. This is practically his only motivation. His previous friend was kind of a bully, so he regularly repeats that he doesn't want to ever have an actual friend. And then he "befriends" Lola with the sole intent to use her tinkering skills to help him beat Hannah in the competition. Hannah is just plain mean. Even when they become "friends" with her after she blackmails them, she continues to act awful. Part of me wants to feel bad because of the fact that she has to struggle through life, relying only on her academic accomplishments to further her position, but I just couldn't find much to like about her at all. Lola's dad... So, it's no wonder, really, that Lola is so inept. She clearly gets it from her father. Despite the fact that he's only in the book for a short period of time, it quickly becomes clear that Lola is able to accomplish more than he is. Granted, this is largely due to her luck and a ridiculous bit of magic that comes in out of nowhere--I guess sticking to that realistic thing made building an interesting story too difficult--but considering everything that happens I genuinely do have to wonder how he got himself kidnapped in the first place. And then, despite the fact that he sent Lola to a relative when he began his treasure hunt for her safety, he is somehow perfectly happy to let her risk herself to save him and this stupid magic stone everyone is after. Way to be a responsible adult here. The villain is a joke. I know it's common in children's books and films for the villain to be ridiculous. I forgive it in a lot of instances. This one, though, blew the ineptness and ridiculousness of every villain I'd ever heard of and even the other characters in this novel completely out of the water. I honestly cannot with how much this antagonist was just a useless and stupid character. It was so bad I cringed every time they came back onto the page. Also, the nickname, Lola. Really? So...did I like anything? Honestly, no. I mean, the cover is cool. And despite my hating Lola entirely, she looks awesome on it. I think my biggest problems with this book really come down to setting, though. Honestly, had Lola just somehow managed to sneak onto a plane and fly out to whatever place her father had last been seen and, I dunno, accidentally hijacked a few kids to help her along the way...a lot could have been better. I don't think I'd feel like she was incredibly inept had that been the case. Instead of everything falling into her lap, she would have had to actually do something to find her father. I probably still would have disliked her, but I at least could have respected her. As the book stands now, I hated everyone and no one really did anything. I will say this much, though. I think there will be a lot of kids who love it. It's not written terribly and my complaints have more to do with convenient and unrealistic plot resolutions and awful characters than anything else. These aren't things that I think a lot of young readers are going to care about, much less recognize. By all accounts, your kid might love this book. I can probably think of students I know who would love this book. If they grow up reading like I did, they'll recognize a lot of flaws in it later. But, at least there's a nostalgia factor with books like that. Recommending? Yeah, sure. It's not bad for the age it's written. I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. | Instagram | Twitter | Reader Fox Blog | Bloglovin’ | Facebook |

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gmr

    The story was great, as was the adventure, and the danger! Lola is one fearless young lady, except when it comes to furry four-legged rodents that pretty much no one likes to be around...especially in large numbers...not that that happens here for anything! *gulp* She's in this game to win it...though I'm sure she REALLY wished it WAS in fact a game because becoming an art thief, or wildlife kidnapper aren't really high on most kid's to-do lists, but the experiences land her where she didn't eve The story was great, as was the adventure, and the danger! Lola is one fearless young lady, except when it comes to furry four-legged rodents that pretty much no one likes to be around...especially in large numbers...not that that happens here for anything! *gulp* She's in this game to win it...though I'm sure she REALLY wished it WAS in fact a game because becoming an art thief, or wildlife kidnapper aren't really high on most kid's to-do lists, but the experiences land her where she didn't even know she needed to be to form the relationships she longed for with those she never expected to need (and vice versa!). Watching her explain away the decimated cast from her first venture gone wrong was giggle worthy, but the second time was definitely worth at least a guffaw! Her unwitting sidekicks and potential wielders of a magical artifact that does not in fact exist (or does it?) keep things rolling with their espionage, second guessing, and knack for uncovering things just when they need uncovering. I admit, for those paying attention and putting the pieces together, it's not a stretch to figure out what's what, what's where, and just how things slipped around the way they do, but exactly HOW they do and with whom are kept pretty well mum, adding greater depth to the mystery portion of the book...though that SHADOW persona was a bit on the tricky side! All in all, a great kick off to a series I know I'll be keeping my eye on and I'm pretty sure many of you will be too! So add this little beaut to your upcoming must-read-list for an adventure filled with danger, friendship, and heart that you won't want to put down! **ecopy received for review; opinions are my own

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jen (Pop! Goes The Reader)

    Did you find this review helpful? Find more of my reviews at Pop! Goes The Reader! As the daughter of world-renowned archeologist and treasure hunter, Professor Lawrence Benko, twelve-year-old Lola Benko has become accustomed to a life filled with adventure and unpredictability. From Estonia to Bucharest, from Prague to Mali, Lola has learned to live life out of a suitcase and expect the unexpected as she moves from one country and one school to the next. So, when Professor Benko is called away s Did you find this review helpful? Find more of my reviews at Pop! Goes The Reader! As the daughter of world-renowned archeologist and treasure hunter, Professor Lawrence Benko, twelve-year-old Lola Benko has become accustomed to a life filled with adventure and unpredictability. From Estonia to Bucharest, from Prague to Mali, Lola has learned to live life out of a suitcase and expect the unexpected as she moves from one country and one school to the next. So, when Professor Benko is called away suddenly on a ‘stupendous’ and ‘extraordinary’ expedition to Budapest, the details of which he can’t disclose, Lola doesn’t think anything of it, and is even eager to spend time in San Fransisco with her Great-Aunt Irma and Irma’s companion, a grey parrot named Zeus, while her father is away. But when news of Professor Benko’s sudden death in a flash flood is related to Lola and Irma by agents employed by the United States State Department, Lola refuses to believe it. (“I informed them they were dead wrong about my dad being, well, dead. If some tragedy befell him, I’d feel it. And I didn’t feel anything but hungry.”) Even more unbelievable and suspicious are the agent’s enquiries about Professor’s Benko’s missing expedition notebooks and their insistence he was searching for the magic Stone of Istenanya when he died. After all, the Stone is nothing more than a fictional invention, a part of a fairytale Lola’s mother used to tell her. At least, that’s what Lola’s always been told. Now it’s up to Lola, and a couple of newfound friends, to uncover the truth about her father’s disappearance and the mysterious Stone before it’s too late. While Lola’s description of her jet-setting adventures prior to the events of the novel sound exciting, the one thing she truly longs for is the stability her unpredictable life has always lacked. Lola dreams of a room of her own with bookshelves she can fill, a birthday cake with candles she can blow out, and friends to celebrate it all with. The latter is particularly important to Lola, and has always felt the most unattainable. After all, as Lola puts it, “Who wants to be BFFs with a girl who is just going to up and leave?” Moving to San Fransisco and eventually attending the prestigious Redwood Academy allows Lola her first glimpse of normalcy, filled with STEM fair inventions, homework, and the friends she has always hoped for. This change in circumstances is anything but smooth sailing for Lola, however, as she learns she no longer has the freedom she previously enjoyed, a particularly difficult truth as Lola must balance schoolwork and the supervision and expectations of others with her continuing question to find her father. Lola is impulsive and reckless, but this is largely because she’s also loyal and brave, and willing to go to any length to help those she cares about. Ji Wu-Rossi, who is Lola’s new friend and who the reader grows to know almost as well as Lola, is also dealing with the complexities and nuances of friendship. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that Jin’s childhood friend, Paul, has recently moved away, leaving Jin with a “best-friend-sized hole” in his life. While Jin mourns the loss of his former best friend and clearly thinks highly of Paul, the glimpses the reader is given of Jin’s dynamic with Paul make it clear this was in no way a healthy or positive relationship. Among other things, Jin reveals to Lola that “Paul used to say I trusted too much in feelings and that was bad”, “Paul always tells me my ideas are stupid” and that “Paul yelled at me all the time”. Lola is quick to pick up on the toxicity of their relationship and the insecurities that Jin struggles with as a result, and is careful not to replicate Paul’s behaviour and is actively supportive of Jin’s ideas and the things he’s passionate about. After all, as Lola observes silently to herself, “aren’t best friends supposed to make you feel good about yourself?” It was touching to watch as two people reluctant to make friends – either for fear of rejection, judgement or the unknown – find unconditional acceptance and support in one another. The first book in a new middle grade series, Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter lays a solid foundation for further books to come, establishing its cast of characters with clarity and giving readers an understanding of what they can expect from future instalments. The novel’s intriguing blend of mystery and adventure is sure to capture the imagination of young readers who enjoy puzzle-solving and stories of derring-do as Lola tries her hand at pilfering, escapes a sailing ship, and explores mysterious underground tunnels, each with varying degrees of success. McMullen’s unique twist on Hungarian mythology also adds a little bit of magic to a story otherwise rooted in realistic, contemporary issues faced by middle grade readers today. I don’t know what’s next in store for Lola Benko, though I would love to see the series deconstruct colonialism, which is unavoidably inherent in the practice of ‘treasure hunting’ and, in doing so, educate the next generation about the dangers of and harm caused by cultural appropriation and exploitation. There’s a great deal of potential to be found in Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter, and I would certainly be interested in tagging along with Lola, Jin and the rest of the gang on their next adventure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jill Jemmett

    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. 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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Harrison

    4.5 Stars Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter is such an enjoyable read. Beth McMullen’s characters, especially Lola, are well-developed and a joy to follow. Their capers are just the right mix of danger, adventure, mystery and humor. What I appreciated the most, though, was McMullen’s ability to make something that should be implausible seem perfectly normal. Even as an adult, I didn’t question the plot, I just ran with it. It was a blast. I wish Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter had been released a few weeks a 4.5 Stars Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter is such an enjoyable read. Beth McMullen’s characters, especially Lola, are well-developed and a joy to follow. Their capers are just the right mix of danger, adventure, mystery and humor. What I appreciated the most, though, was McMullen’s ability to make something that should be implausible seem perfectly normal. Even as an adult, I didn’t question the plot, I just ran with it. It was a blast. I wish Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter had been released a few weeks ago. With school starting up, there will be less time for “fun” reading, and that’s a shame. This book is just the escape readers have been looking for. On the other hand, it’s a good option for any “free reading” teachers may offer/require, and it also would make a great birthday, holiday or just because gift. This is the first book in a planned series, and I can’t wait to read more of Lola’s adventures.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hill

    Lola’s dad sends her home to her great-aunt while he goes off in search of treasure. He ends up missing and presumed dead. Lola doesn’t believe it, so she decides to steal art to finance her travel to find him. She ends up going to a school instead of jail. As she makes friends she is still trying to find her father and is trading her invention skills for the STEM fair for their help with breaking and entering a storage locker. As the story goes on the adventure gets stronger and the theme of fr Lola’s dad sends her home to her great-aunt while he goes off in search of treasure. He ends up missing and presumed dead. Lola doesn’t believe it, so she decides to steal art to finance her travel to find him. She ends up going to a school instead of jail. As she makes friends she is still trying to find her father and is trading her invention skills for the STEM fair for their help with breaking and entering a storage locker. As the story goes on the adventure gets stronger and the theme of friendship and family is proven. Great middle grade read. Reminded me a little Indiana Jones or Laura Croft. Looking forward to the next one, as the ending left it open to continue!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Crouch

    Thank you to the author for sharing a copy with Collabookation. I loved- and more importantly, I predict kids with love- Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter. Fast-paced, fun adventures with a touch of introspection too. Lola knows, despite being told the contrary, that her father was NOT killed of his most recent mission. But in her quest to find and rescue him, she uncovers a sinister plot to dominate the world. Lola is hilarious, and even though she’s never really had friends, she learns a lot about wh Thank you to the author for sharing a copy with Collabookation. I loved- and more importantly, I predict kids with love- Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter. Fast-paced, fun adventures with a touch of introspection too. Lola knows, despite being told the contrary, that her father was NOT killed of his most recent mission. But in her quest to find and rescue him, she uncovers a sinister plot to dominate the world. Lola is hilarious, and even though she’s never really had friends, she learns a lot about what friendship means during her adventures. I plan on recommending Lola Benko to students who love adventures - and I’m hoping there are more Lola adventures to come!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tika

    3.5 stars. This was a super-cute adventure story and my middle-grade nieces will love it. As an adult I’m a little put off by just HOW precocious a 7th grader is, but that’s a genre problem not a this-specific-book problem.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Did not meet the needs of my collection at this time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Schmid

    Another fast-paced mighty-girl adventure by author, Beth McMullen. Lola is hilarious, brave, and determined to find her father at all costs. The story is full of twists and turns right up to its splashy end. More please!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Banks

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  14. 4 out of 5

    The Bookworm

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lila Roeder

  16. 5 out of 5

    China

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rose Marie

  18. 5 out of 5

    MayorEmma

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Rummel

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mynda

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amber Williams

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shaileen D Volpe

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hana

  28. 5 out of 5

    Moira Y

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allyn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nikita

  31. 4 out of 5

    Jillian (PidginPea's Book Nook)

  32. 5 out of 5

    T.J. Burns

  33. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia

  34. 5 out of 5

    Idigyabooks

  35. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  37. 5 out of 5

    Sierra Dertinger

  38. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Krakover

  39. 4 out of 5

    Lee

  40. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  41. 5 out of 5

    Maria2000

  42. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  43. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  44. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Macfarlane

  45. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  46. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  47. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  48. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Carvalho

  49. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Pfeifer

  50. 5 out of 5

    Heather

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