THE SIXTY-EIGHT ROOMS by Marianne Malone


From the "Sixty-Eight Rooms" series, volume 1
by and illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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Who hasn’t seen the carefully composed exhibits of miniatures at a museum, or even a simple dollhouse, and wondered what it would be like to be small enough to walk inside? First-time author Malone clearly has. Her tale revolves around the magical adventures of two everyday kids, Ruthie and Jack, among the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. Sixth graders at a prestigious private school, they’re best friends and complete opposites. When Jack finds a mysterious key on a class outing, a key that enables Ruthie and anything she touches to shrink, the magic begins. Along the way Jack and Ruthie make friends with some children from the past and discover that others have used the key before them. The author works hard providing background details for adult and child characters alike, but she can’t quite manage to breathe life into any of them. As a result, her story seems overlong and contains entirely too many convenient coincidences. That said, her effort may find an enthusiastic audience, for the premise is engaging and the plotting easy to follow. Predictable but pleasant. (Magical adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-85710-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2010


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