From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6–Jack and Ruthie return for the third book (2013) in the popular series in which the sixth graders are in possession of a magical key that grants them the power to shrink themselves. With this newfound opportunity, they discover a world of secrets in the Thorne Rooms, a collection of miniature rooms on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. They uncover family legends of pride, but also of pain. While Jack finds out that one of his great-great-great-great-great-great grandfathers escaped from a pirate ship with a pocketful of treasure, their classmate, Kendra, shares a story about an ancestor who escaped from a plantation in South Carolina and became a successful herbalist and healer, only to have her reputation ruined by an unscrupulous businessman who stole the recipes and claimed them as his own. Can Jack and Ruthie use their power of miniaturization to help Kendra's family seek justice? What secrets do the passageways and corridors of the rooms hold? Time travel, mystery, museums, and intrigue are woven into an adventure story that will capture listeners' imaginations. Cassandra Campbell has pitch perfect timing and just enough voice modulation between the different characters to add depth to the story. While the audiobook could be enjoyed on its own, those familiar with the first two volumes will find this volume most enjoyable since it picks up where the action in Stealing Magic (2012, both Random) ended.–Meg Boisseau Allison, Moretown School, Moretown, VTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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The Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure series blends multiple topics of fascination to many a reader: miniaturization (think The Borrowers), time travel (think the Magic Tree House), mystery (think Hardy Boys), and secretly trawling a museum behind the scenes (think From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler). In this third outing, Jack’s ancestor, from whom he inherits a gold coin, was apparently a seagoing man, and the coin appears to be connected to the adventures the kids have when they make themselves small enough to stroll though the doll-sized, historically decorated Thorne Rooms at Chicago’s Art Institute. The mystery of the coin, and another involving Phoebe, a slave girl the friends met in a previous outing, reveal a new facet of the rooms’ importance: as repositories for vital artifacts. Retrieving one for a classmate related to Phoebe becomes the duo’s mission, even as they discover unwanted consequences. Intriguing, and with enough loose ends to entice readers to further installments, this remains a standout series. Grades 4-6. --Karen Cruze