Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 5U4.851897

Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays' apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy.After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can't go through with the plan without Marvin's help. And that's where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle.

In Shakespeare's Secret Elise Broach showed her keen ability to weave storytelling with history and suspense, and Masterpiece is yet another example of her talent. This time around it's an irresistible miniature world, fascinating art history, all wrapped up in a special friendship― something for everyone to enjoy.

Masterpiece is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published on March 30, 2010 by Square Fish
ISBN-10: 0312608705
ISBN-13: 9780312608705
16 Book Reviews
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  • khloe123
    khloe123Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 8:41 am
    This book is about a bug Marvin and a boy James. James gets an ink set for is birthday from his dad. James can't draw but Marvin draws everything for him. The bug is really good. The next morning his mom thinks he did it but he never said the bug did it. James takes credit for the drawing. Marvin draws him this painting that is the same as a famous painting they look exactly alike. Read the book to find out what happens to James drawing. And how they have to find the famous stolen drawing. Who stole the drawing? Find out how much James painting's worth?
    • artqueen13Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 11:57 am
      Love this book it is all about me.
      • coolgirl646464Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 8:02 am
        such a awesome book guys.
        • mintey
          minteyThursday, January 21, 2016 at 2:59 pm
          I have read a little bit of it and I love it.
          • nouwara
            nouwaraMonday, January 18, 2016 at 8:01 am55 stars
            Awesome book
            • cupcake618
              cupcake618Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 3:04 pm33 stars
              This story is about a bug that paints a boy a picture. His parents are worried about him. But he wants to keep painting.
              • teddybear03
                teddybear03Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm
                love this book soo much cannot wait read a minature world of marvin and james
                • teddybear03
                  teddybear03Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 5:47 pm
                  The second one is not as good. I suggest NOT to read the second one.
                • loubiscuit
                  loubiscuitMonday, October 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm
                  I love this book. Now you can enter a beetle's world. Inspiring and funny with James and Marvin on an amazing adventure. If you have read this and liked it, I recommend Shakespeare's Secret.
                  • puppy44
                    puppy44Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 11:47 am55 stars
                    We are reading this in claws and it is amazing and fun you would read it
                    • taliar
                      taliarTuesday, March 26, 2013 at 10:32 am55 stars
                      masterpice is a real masterpice! I never expected a beetle to be best friends with a boy. James became a real crime solver at the end.I love this book!