MasterpieceTitle: Masterpiece
Author: Elise Broach
ISBN: 9780805082708
Pages: 292 pages
Publisher/Date: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, c2008

“Home, for Marvin’s family, was a damp corner of the cupboard beneath the kitchen sink. Here, a leaking pipe had softened the plaster andcaused it to crumble away. Just behind the wall, Marvin’s family had hollowed out three spacious rooms, and, as his parents often remarked, it was a perfect location.” (1)

It doesn’t take long to find out that Marvin is one of many beetles that live in the Pompaday’s New York City apartment. The Pompaday family consists of eleven year old James, James’ mom and stepdad Mr. and Mrs. Pompaday, and baby William. For James’ eleventh birthday, Marvin wants to get him something special, after a disasterous birthday party and pen and ink gift set from his father. So he draws a tiny picture of the view from James’ window, and leaves it for James to find. His parents however, think James drew it, and he’s invited to participate in a sting to find an artist thief. But things aren’t always how they appear.

This book has more twists and turns then I expected, and at one time in particular I was exclaiming outloud at the book. The author’s notes at the end were very useful and explanatory, and will certainly get readers interested in art, or art thefts. My library is booktalking this book (among others) for our summer reading program, which is “Be Creative @ Your Library”. It also has readers looking at the world from a different point of view. Pair this with the Borrowers or the Littles, or any book featuring small animals, like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. The possibilities are endless.

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