Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review--Under the Egg

I wanted to post this here because I loved this book and not everyone who reads the blog is on Goodreads.

Under the EggUnder the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Theo's Grandfather Jack dies, leaving the family with $400 and a house full of paintings, Theo isn't sure how they'll manage to eat, much less pay her mother's exorbitant tea bills. But when she spills subbing alcohol on one of his paintings, she notices something underneath. A hidden painting--that looks a lot like a Raphael! With the help of her new friend Bodhi, she sets out to discover where the painting came from and if it is really worth as much as she thinks.

Growing up, one of my favorite books was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler. While I would still recommend that book, there's no denying that some of its concepts and language are a bit dated. Under the Egg is a great updating of that general theme--kids on their own in NYC, lost works of art from a Ninja Turtle--that won't confuse the intended audience with words like "automat" or "typewriter." There is some librarian-baiting; not only is the featured librarian hip and young, but there are actually scenes that describe the research he undertakes while helping the girls try to authenticate the painting. I like to think this could show the reader how useful a library is.

The age of the protagonists, length of the book, and lack of a love story put this firmly in middle-grade territory, but I enjoyed it as a story in its own right. It would be a great tie-in when learning about art history or conservation, or even the holocaust/WWII. There isn't a lot of action, but I would recommend this to any quirky intellectual girl who enjoys a good mystery.

I received my copy free from NetGalley.

View all my reviews

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