Book review by Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 9+

Brilliant, suspenseful, satisfying art mystery.

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 6 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 9+

Not what I had hoped for…

I used this as a read aloud with my young son. The prose was really rich and descriptive, and the storyline was interesting although a little slow at times (he was only 5 at the time and the concept of an art heist went a bit over his head.) I was really enjoying it… until I realized how much the main character was lying/hiding from his parents, and this was being seen as a positive attribute (he was being ‘such a loyal friend’). The main character had carried on lying despite having kind and understanding adults available in his world. In the end ***SPOILER ALERT*** he purposely injures himself (quite seriously) to get out of his web of lies. This is seen as a relief as he’s somewhat free of the lies… without ever having to tell the truth. It sparked a big conversation in our house about the importance of having a grown up that you feel comfortable talking to - whether that be a parent, a grandparent, a teacher… and that keeping secrets is never the right thing to do. My son felt quite protective of the main character and didn’t really believe that he could have handled the situation better.
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Good for any tween, esp art lovers or underdogs

This is one we read out loud, a ten year old and a 12 year old, who had no interest until we got started. just when you think you are too old to root for a beetle to save the day, you are hooked. It was fun, lots of drama, fascinating behind the scenes art history too.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Book Details

  • Author: Elise Broach
  • Illustrator: Kelly Murphy
  • Genre: Activity
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publication date: September 1, 2008
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
  • Number of pages: 292
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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