, Salem, MA


July 4, 2014

Book Notes: A new mystery for ages 9 and up

Oliver Truong is not your average Boy Scout.

He is short, overweight, asthmatic and allergic to campfires. He is also a celebrity at summer camp because he helped Moxie Fleece, the heroine of “Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking,” solve the mystery of the Gardner Museum art heist.

“He’s her best friend,” said Erin Dionne, who teaches writing at Montserrat College of Art and created both characters.

Ollie was a secondary figure in “Moxie,” Dionne’s last novel, but solves a mystery of his own in her new one, “Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting.”

“Rather than do a straight sequel where Moxie takes the lead, I thought it would be fun to focus on another character,” Dionne said.

“Ollie” is Dionne’s fifth book, all geared to readers age 9 and older, and it is the first one where the main character is a boy.

“I do a lot of pre-work, thinking about the character,” Dionne said. “Ollie was somebody I already knew, and it became more about being authentic, capturing the way the character would act.”

Ollie and his Boy Scout troop are on a 14-day wilderness trip to the Boston Harbor islands, where pirates once buried treasure.

“They used to stash it so that, if you were arrested, you could bribe an officer,” Dionne said. “For decades people have been finding stuff.”

The focus of Ollie’s adventure are some diamonds that, according to legend, were buried on one of the islands by Long Ben Avery.

Part of the story revolves around Ollie’s skill at geocaching, a game in which Global Positioning Technology is used to find things that have been hidden.

“Geocaching is basically modern treasure hunting,” Dionne said. “They used to do it with compasses.”

In an interesting twist, Ollie uses his skill at this game to deceive other treasure hunters, as much as to find hidden treasure.

“He’s not sure who he can trust,” Dionne said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • vehicles Quick pick: Festival of vehicles

    Festival of vehicles Take a ride over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for the 16th annual Vehicle Night on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, cruisers and snow plows takes place in the library park

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, July 25

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker