Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
This book is recommended for advanced readers in sixth grade and up
Theo could use some extra money. When her grandfather dies, she is left with her brilliant but irresponsible mother in a rundown house in an expensive neighborhood. She is literally counting pennies every time she rides a bus or pays a bill. Her grandfather's last words lead to a mysterious painting discovery. Is this piece of art actually a valuable treasure?
Fans of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler or Chasing Vermeer or Masterpiece are likely to enjoy the style of this book. Theo's poverty and new friendship with the daughter of two famous actors (who are inattentive parents), in addition to the unfolding history of her grandfather's past, lend extra dimensions to this story. Readers who aren't especially fans of art will still enjoy the plot, and those with any prior knowledge or interest in art history are in good hands with this author.
Book Advisory Information: There are a couple of minor mature references to elements of Renaissance paintings that might be a bit awkward in a read-aloud situation, but this would be appropriate for fourth graders who could otherwise manage the vocabulary and plot
Discussion Topics and Themes
Art History - Renaissance (Raphael)
WWII - concentration camps
WWII - Monuments Men
Pride, Ethics, and Justice
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