Guest Author - Taisha Turner
An unlikely pair of New Yorkers forms a friendship in Masterpiece by Elise Broach. Marvin, a beetle, and James Pompaday, a human, are the pair. Marvin, his parents and other relatives live in the Pompaday’s Manhattan apartment. Although, the beetles are aware of the humans’ existence, James is unaware of Marvin until a fortunate incident happens. Their meeting occurs on James’ birthday after Marvin leaves James a miniature cityscape.
This meeting leads the new friends to discover the art of Albrecht Durer. In addition, they discover and learn about the behind-the-scene workings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Print Department. Albrecht Durer, a Renaissance painter and printer, and Marvin have a common talent. They can draw fine, detailed miniatures. The adults, unaware of Marvin’s existence and, of course, talent, mistake James as the artist. This error draws Marvin and James into the complicated, dangerous world of art forgery and theft.
Elise Broach’s Masterpiece delves into nuances of friendship. The friendship between the beetle and human are fantasy, but believable. Friends make sacrifices and allowances for each other. Subplots about different friendships revolve around James’ father and two museum curators.
Masterpiece by Elise Broach is a satisfying novel for the tween/middle-reader. Although, the New York friends are male, young females will enjoy the juvenile chapter book. Elise Broach gives details about Albrecht Durer and the museums through spirited conversations, not long descriptive text. This keeps the action lively. Young people between nine and twelve-years-old will find Elise Broach’s Masterpiece fun and very interesting.
The information about Albrecht Durer and the museums, Getty and the Met will last a lifetime. Kids who have visited the museums get to revisit. Those who have not, get to visit two American treasures. Albrecht Durer is a Renaissance artist treasured by the world.
Elise Broach writes Shakespeare's Secret for tween/teen readers, too. It's another exciting history-mystery novel.
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Series and Sequels Books for Children
Children Book Reviews
Dr. Seuss Picture Books
Don Freeman's Picture Books
Stan Berenstain's Picture Books
Magic Tree House Books
Chronicles of Narnia Books-C.S. Lewis
A Series of Unfortunate Events-Lemony Snicket
Note: Masterpiece by Elise Broach review copy was received from Media Masters Publicity. Henry Holt publishes the fantasy book. Kelly Murphy illustrates the history-mystery chapter book.