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Masterpiece

Elise Broach; Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

Square Fish

Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays’ apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy.After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can’t go through with the plan without Marvin’s help. And that’s where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle.
 
In Shakespeare’s Secret Elise Broach showed her keen ability to weave storytelling with history and suspense, and Masterpiece is yet another example of her talent. This time around it’s an irresistible miniature world, fascinating art history, all wrapped up in a special friendship— something for everyone to enjoy.
 
Masterpiece is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays’ apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy.After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can’t go through with the plan without Marvin’s help. And that’s where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle.  In Shakespeare’s Secret Elise Broach showed her keen ability to weave storytelling with history and suspense, and Masterpiece is yet another example of her talent. This time around it’s an irresistible miniature world, fascinating art history, all wrapped up in a special friendship— something for everyone to enjoy. Masterpiece is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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CHAPTER 4: A Present for James The journey through the dark apartment to James’s room was an arduous one. Rolling the nickel across the kitchen tile went relatively smoothly, but hoisting it over the door sills left Marvin exhausted and panting. He had to watch for trouble every step of the way, not just night-roving Pompadays, but the booby-traps of forgotten gum or scotch tape on the floor, or worse yet, a foraging mouse.
     When he finally reached James’s bedroom, he had to sit for a minute to catch his breath. A streetlamp outside the window cast dim
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  • Masterpiece by Elise Broach--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Elise Broach's children's book Masterpiece. Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays' apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy. After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Masterpiece

"Inventive ... Broach ... packs this fast-moving story with perennially seductive themes: hidden lives and secret friendships, miniature worlds lost to disbelievers ... Broach and Kelly show readers something new."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
 
"Delightful intricacies of beetle life ... blend seamlessly with the suspenseful caper as well as the sentimental story of a complicated-but-rewarding friendship ... Murphy’s charming pen-and-ink drawings populate the short chapters of this funny, winsome novel."
--Kirkus Reviews
 
"This marvelous story is sure to be a hit."
--School Library Journal
"Inventive ... Broach ... packs this fast-moving story with perennially seductive themes: hidden lives and secret friendships, miniature worlds lost to disbelievers ... Broach and Kelly show readers something new."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
 
"Delightful intricacies of beetle life ... blend seamlessly with the suspenseful caper as well as the sentimental story of a complicated-but-rewarding friendship ... Murphy’s charming pen-and-ink drawings populate the short chapters of this funny, winsome novel."
--Kirkus Reviews
 
"This marvelous story is sure to be a hit."
--School Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Elise Broach; Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

  • Elise Broach is the New York Times bestselling author of books for children and young adults, including Desert Crossing and Shakespeare’s Secret, as well as several picture books. Her books have been selected as ALA notable books, Junior Library Guild selections, an E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and nominated for an Edgar Award, among other distinctions. Ms. Broach holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Yale University. She was born in Georgia and lives in the woods of rural Connecticut, walking distance from three farms, a library, a post office and two country stores.  Kelly Murphy has illustrated many books for children including Hush Little Dragon. She lives in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
  • Kelly Murphy
  • Elise Broach Mark Broach
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Available Formats and Book Details

Masterpiece

Elise Broach; Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

American Library Association Notable Children's Books, CPL: Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, Kansas State Reading Circle, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens, Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Master List, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Nebraska Golden Sower Award Master List, Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award Master List, Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award Maser List, ABC E.B. White Read Aloud Award, Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Choice Award Master L, Iowa Children's Choice Award Master List, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, Indiana Read Alouds Too Good to Miss Master List
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Square Fish

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