Middle Grade Author Shannon Whitney Messenger began Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays a while back. If you love middle grade literature, check out her blog on Mondays for a list of other sites featuring MG books.
From Goodreads: When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere— to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along.
Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it?
Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
From Vicki: While narrated by Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who occasionally breaks into the story to talk directly to her lawyer in a voice that constantly left me chuckling, I could still picture Claudia and Jamie bathing in the food court fountain, and hiding in the bathroom stalls, and sleeping in the giant, dusty bed of a past monarch. The dialogue between the siblings was realistic, even all these years later, and also usually left me chuckling.
This was one of the best books I’ve read all year, despite having been published in 1967! It even inspired our visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art during Spring Break. My kids were quite impressed with the Egyptian exhibit and the huge temple. I thought they might enjoy the Greco-Roman wing as well, because of their interest in Percy Jackson. They were less impressed.
But they got a kick out of some of the statues. My 6-year-old announced in the clear, piercing voice that only innocence lends, “Mommy, I can see the statues’-” and then he leaned back a little and pointed repeatedly at the front of his pants, with the kind of grin that says, “I just saw something I’m not supposed to.”
It was a proud moment.
What books have inspired your travels?