I’m always on the lookout for middle-grade books that relate to the arts, partly because I just love stories about this subject, but also because I teach a creative writing class in which the students take inspiration from art history. This book is a perfect fit. It is compared to E.L. Konisburg’s The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler or Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer, and those comparisons are apt, though this book also reminded me of a wonderful book by Matt Chaming called The Medici Curse, since they both involve a painting beneath a painting.
I loved the setting in this book and the unlikely friendship that develops between Theo and Bodhi. In particular, I liked Theo’s character growth as she moves from being isolated and introverted to more open and worldly.
I did find the plot wraps up a bit too neatly by the end—but that is a minor complaint. There is much to recommend this book otherwise.