Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Goodreads Summary: When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.
With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo’s search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she’ll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.
This was an impulse check out. Both the title and the cover were intriguing. I actually felt compelled to check this book out. And I’m glad I did.
I love Theo. She’s a strong female character, but I do feel sorry for her. It’s tough to have to be the adult at 13 and be responsible for keeping the household together. There are number of stories like this written for children. What makes this one stand out for me is, of course, the mystery and Theo’s relationship with her grandfather. Readers who enjoyed Roxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, Chasing Vermeer, or The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler will enjoy Under the Egg.
I especially enjoyed how Fitzgerald wove an engaging story with bits of history and art. Under The Egg would be an excellent read aloud companion to a unit on art history.
You may recall that I have mentioned more than once that I have a 4th/5th grade book club: The Book Detectives. It’s a Mock Newbery Club. I’m already looking for titles for next year’s club and Under The Egg will certainly be on the list.
Recommended for 3rd Grade and Up.