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.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published on September 30, 2008 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
17 Book Reviews
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  • mooncakemaniac
    mooncakemaniacSaturday, November 16, 2019 at 8:03 am55 stars
    This book was really good, and if you like books with fantasy, and animals communicating with humans, you should totally read this. If you liked this book, I also recommend Shakespeare's Secret.
    • 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