Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

Masterpiece by Elise Broach


Book Summary

It's not every day you meet a beetle who can draw like Albrecht Durer, but Marvin can.  He and his family live in a New York City apartment, and when James (whose father is a professional artist) receives a drawing set for his birthday, he and Marvin are drawn into a plot to catch an art thief.

Masterpiece book cover

Book Review

Similar in subject matter, but not in style, to Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, this book has an appealing balance of adventure, mystery, and universal themes for upper elementary students, including friendship, parental approval, and being true to yourself. This book is charmingly written, offering insights that ring true without repetitive symbolism or condescending explanations.  This selection would be an excellent choice for student book clubs, as it has a wide range of appeal.

left 3D quotation mark

When you saw different parts of the world, you saw different parts of yourself. And when you stayed home, where it was safe, those parts of yourself also stayed hidden."  p.268

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Teamwork
  • Courage
  • Family Relationships
  • Parental Expectations
  • Responsibility to do the right thing
  • Artists; Drawing

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions Coming Soon**

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