Monday, January 23, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday Give-Away: The Sixty-Eight Rooms By Marianne Malone

 About The Book: Almost everybody who has grown up in Chicago knows about the Thorne Rooms. Housed in the Children’s Galleries of the Chicago Art Institute, they are a collection of 68 exquisitely crafted miniature rooms made in the 1930s by Mrs. James Ward Thorne. Each of the 68 rooms is designed in the style of a different historic period, and every detail is perfect, from the knobs on the doors to the candles in the candlesticks. Some might even say, the rooms are magic.

Imagine—what if you discovered a key that allowed you to shrink so that you were small enough to sneak inside and explore the rooms’ secrets? What if you discovered that others had done so before you? And that someone had left something important behind?
Fans of Chasing Vermeer, The Doll People, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will be swept up in the magic of this exciting art adventure!
First Line: Getting up in the morning was always a challenge for Ruthie.

Illustrator: Greg Call Represented by Shannon Associates, LLC. See biography and portfolio here.

What Others Have Said:  "Ruthie and Jack’s pint-sized adventures take them to Salem Witch Trial-era Massachusetts and pre-Revolutionary France as the magic extends beyond the rooms themselves and into those painted vistas and hidden hallways, the kids becoming avid history buffs in the process.
    If anything, you’re left wanting more—more rooms, more real-life Thorne ephemera, more jaunts through different, more exotic historical landscapes." —Chicago Tribune

“Who hasn’t seen the carefully composed exhibits of miniatures at a museum, or even a simple dollhouse, and wondered what it would be like to be small enough to walk inside?.”— Kirkus Reviews via Marianne Malone

What I Thought: I wasn't ever any good at the Barbie and Ken scene. For one, my progressive mother thought that Barbie wasn't a healthy image for a little girl, and second, I was particular about the make-believe I participated in. Usually, it consisted of potions made from locust wings and hedge-apples or secret forts made from branches. 
        Once I was determined to recreate Peter Pan's underground home and forced my younger brother to dig for days. (It's good to be the oldest.) When that didn't pan out (ha!) we made elaborate roads, garages and homes out of leaves and grass. Then we'd drive our hot wheels cars in and out. We also loved to recreate this magic in the sand or dirt. Imagining myself in these small worlds brought me hours of fun and daydreaming.  
           Many of my favorite exhibits have been battlefield recreations, doll houses and small model train layouts. I've never seen the Chicago Thorne Rooms. (Added it to my bucket list.) Needless to say, when I read the back I knew it would be something that I could get lost in and I did. The sad part was I wanted more shrinking and more exploring so I was very excited when I realized that there are two more books on the way! The adventure is captivating and touches that part of me that dreams of worlds within worlds.  

Stealing Magic Comes Out on January 24th!! 

To celebrate I'll be giving away my copy of The Sixty-Eight Rooms.
Only three easy steps for a chance to win! Drawing ends at midnight on January 30th.
1. Comment on today's review.
2. Join us tomorrow and comment on the review.
3. Invite your followers on Twitter or Facebook to join us for the interview tomorrow.

About The Author: Marianne Malone
Publisher: Random House                                                                       
Who:   Malone grew up loving dollhouses and was fascinated by the Thorne Rooms, 68 miniature rooms, at the Art Institute of Chicago. While her children were growing up she often thought about writing, but was interested in so many things  that deciding what to write was a problem. When her daughter Maya entered middle school she and another mother created the Campus Middle School for Girls. She taught art for more than 10 years and got acquainted with that age group. She fell in love with 11-year-olds and decided to write a book that her students could enjoy. 

Find out more about Marianne tomorrow when she joins us on the blog to chat about her writing!

***Don't forget to stop in at all the other great MMGM bloggers in my sidebar.


  1. Sounds so interesting! Your enthusiasm puts it on my list. As well as #2. And--I'd love to win your giveaway, thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Yay on the giveaway and featuring this book!! Thanks sooo much.

  3. Thanks for this feature. Your enthusiasm is pretty contagious and I'd love to win the book to find out more.

  4. Oh, I absolutely adored this book! And I already have a copy, so please give it to someone else. Generous of you to give yours away, though.

    I've never been to the Thorne Rooms either (or to Chicago, for that matter), but like you, I added it to the bucket list as soon as I read this book. Always been fascinated by miniatures and the idea of tiny people, especially after reading The Borrowers when I was about 10.

    And I used to make little houses out of stones and twigs, so I hear you!

  5. I liked this, and it has had slow but steady circulation. I think the second book was even better.

  6. This sounds like a great book to get lost in. Thanks for sharing!


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