The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this as one of my 2015 TBR pile challenge books. It ended up on my TBR pile because of the subject matter: the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. I've seen and admired those rooms, and though I don't usually read young adult lit, I was curious about how they'd be handled.
The story is pretty basic. Two grade-school kids visit the Art Institute and discover a key in an access corridor behind the Thorne Room displays. They realize that the key has the ability to shrink them down to the right size to enter and live in the rooms.
Excited and curious, they plan a weekend adventure where they hide in the museum so they can visit all the rooms at their leisure. It's pretty reminiscent of "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler," if you know the story.
Together they try to solve the mystery of what the key is and how it works.
It was a pretty well-told story. There was a lot of detail in how the children handled the logistics of getting around the full-sized parts of the museum when they'd shrunk down to Thorne Room size. There were also sub-plots that pulled everything all together.
The descriptions of the Thorne Rooms were very detailed and added a lot to the story. This is the first in a series, though I doubt I'll read any of the others, the first one does stand on its own.
I'm not sure how much interest the stories would hold for someone who isn't familiar with the Thorne Rooms, though I'll also say it made me want to learn more about them.
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