Monday, July 14, 2014

Under the Egg by: Laura Marx Fitzgerald

If I had to describe this book in one word it would be FANTASTIC!  I was surprised by so much in this book; such as the likable characters, the plot, the history, and an intriguing mystery.  Author Laura Marx Fitzgerald has written a book I'll never forget with her middle grade novel debut Under the Egg.

Theodora Tenpenny's grandfather suddenly passes away leaving her in charge of their 200 year old townhouse and her unstable mother.  She is not sure how long they will be able to live there, with just $463 in their cash jar.  She is happy to have chickens to lay eggs and a vegetable garden that she kept with her grandfather.  When she finds a note saying that her grandfather has taken care of her and her mother all she needs to do is "look under the egg" she believes at least some of her worries will be over.  Several years earlier, her grandfather painted a painting of an egg, and it hung on the wall above the fireplace mantle.  She takes the painting down and looks all over but doesn't find anything.  When she notices that some of the paint is chipped she uses rubbing alcohol and discovers a very old painting under her grandfather's egg painting.  She believes it is an old masterpiece that could be worth a lot of money.  At first Theodora doesn't want help from anyone.  Her grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and she is worried that maybe he stole the painting.  She has never had a friend, but soon a new girl moves in and they become two unlikely friends.  Theodora decides to trust her new friend and together they work to discover who painted the portrait of a woman with a child.  The more Theodora learns about old painters and their works she finds others willing to help her discover the truth.  She learns a lot about her grandfather and his life before she was a part of it.  She especially learns the part he played in WWII.  Will this painting really be worth something?  Will Theodora have enough money to be able to take care of herself and her mother?  Did her grandfather really steal the painting?  I literally could not put this book down.  I am sure you will enjoy this fast paced mystery as you read you will learn some art history and interesting WWII history.

Maybe there are members of your family that love to paint, or just love art in general.  After reading this book take the family to an art gallery or to see the movie The Monuments Men.

Happy Daily Reading

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