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The Sixty-Eight Rooms (The Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventures) Paperback – April 5, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sixth-graders Ruthie and her best friend, Jack, are on a class visit to Chicago’s Art Institute, where they see the famous Thorne Rooms. Filled with incredible miniatures, the rooms, representing different time periods, fascinate Ruthie. When she finds a key that shrinks her and allows her to get inside the rooms, Ruthie wants to return as soon as possible. Jack is a willing partner, and when a way is found to shrink him, too, the adventure really begins. First-time novelist Malone carefully crafts a fantastical story with plenty of real-world elements, including Jack’s mother’s worries as she tries to make a living as an artist and the subplot of a museum security guard, who has lost something important. Jack and Ruthie find it in the rooms, which tie the past and present together. There are contrivances that make accessibility to the adventures possible, but readers will focus on the mystery, the history, and the excitement of being small. Grades 4-6. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

MARIANNE MALONE is the mother of three grown children, a former art teacher, and the cofounder of the Campus School Middle School for Girls in Urbana, Illinois. She and her husband divide their time between Urbana and Washington, DC. This is her first novel. You can visit her Web site at MarianneMalone.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventures
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375857117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375857119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Marianne Malone's The Sixty-Eight Rooms is a YA fantasy novel with a great premise. The problem is she seems to have forgotten to put the fantasy in.

The book imagines two sixth-graders, Ruthie and Jack, who discover a magical key on a field trip to the Thorne Rooms in the Art Institute of Chicago, a famous collection of 68 miniature rooms set in various time periods. The key shrinks Ruthie and Jack down to a size where they can enter the rooms and explore. Even better, it turns out that beyond the room is the entire world of the room's setting: France just a few years before the French Revolution, Mass. during the Salem Witch Trials, etc. The book moves back and forth between Ruthie and Jack's adventures in these worlds, their attempts to sneak into the Art Institute in order to enter the rooms, and their quest in the real world to find out the mysteries behind the Thorne Rooms--who created them and how, where the key came from, how some objects from the Thorne Rooms appear to have entered the real world, and so on. Meanwhile, Jack's mother has some real-world issues of her own to deal with as she's having a hard time selling her artwork and the two of them (Jack and his mom) are in danger of being evicted.

As mentioned, the premise is simply wonderful, combining time travel and Borrowers-type "small-person" adventuring. The problem is, we see almost no adventuring in the worlds outside the Thorne Rooms. We only pop into two of the 68 and for a matter of only a few pages--in total the Thorne Room adventures add up to only about 10 percent of the book.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read this with my 10 year old 4th grader daughter. We got through about 2/3rds before I finally gave up making her read it with me. I think both boys are girls would feel the same about this book. For the most part kids that are very interested and have been to the Art Institute and seen the rooms or are very interested in doll houses might enjoy this book. For the rest it is probably too slow of a pace to keep most kids in the target age range interested.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read the book From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to my students for the last 20 years. Much to my shock this book has striking similarities with this one. Here is where I have my issue.

Children:
A boy and a girl are the central characters in both books.

Museum:
Mixed Up Files takes place in the Met. Museum of Art in New York and in this book the Art Institute.

Staying away from home:
Mixed Up Files-The children stay for a week, in this book the children stay overnight.

Food in pockets:
Mixed Up Files: There is a part in which the children make an issue out of stuffing/hiding food in various pockets of their clothing, the same happens in this book.

Eccentric older woman as a key figure in the story:
Mixed-Up Files: Mrs. Frankweiler an eccentric woman with lots of antiques in her home, with this book Mrs. McVittie an eccentric woman with lots of antiques in her shop.

Older woman helping young lady achieve her dreams
Mrs. Frankeiler helps Claudia, Mrs. McVittie helps Ruthie.

Central girl wanting to be special:
Claudia finds Angel to be such a person, and Ruthie sleeps in the Thorne rooms and has an adventure to feel special.

The museum quality/antique bed:
Claudia insists on sleeping in a very beautiful European bed in the Mixed Up Files, Ruthie sleeps in a very beautiful French bed in this book.

Getting "caught"
In the Mixed-Up Files Jamie walks out of the washroom after hiding and a janitor asks him where he came from. He replied, "My mother told me I came from heaven". In this book the children get caught sneaking out of the Thorn Rooms after closing and are asked where they came from.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hi, I am Belle. I am 9 years old. I just finished Sixty Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone. I loved it!!!
It's about two kids, Jack and Ruthie, who are best friends. Their school goes on a field trip to the Thorne rooms,where they both fall in love with those tiny worlds.But when they find a small magic key that Ruthie can shrink with, they go back to the Thorne rooms and shrink down (if Ruthie is holding Jack's hand he can shrink too) .Then they sneak into the corridor and have a blast in those magical rooms, but they don't know about all of the dangerous mysteries that lie ahead!
I Iiked it because I am the kinda girl who loves cool, fun adventure books. The main characters were only 2 or 3 years older than me so I can relate to them a little! The kids had to be brave to fight off a cockroach bigger than they were! The book also connected to the real world so it wasn't all fantasy. One example is, Jack's mom Lydia had tax problems, and if it wasn't for Ruthie's parents, Jack and Lydia would have lost their house! It also went over a lot of history, like the French Revolution and the Salem Witch Trials, and how young people can be married so young like Christina Duchess of Milan. She was only 16 when she was married and she was a duchess!!!
Some things I didn't like about it was the characters just magically popped out of nowhere. Then they solved all their problems or made them worse! For example, Ms.Mcvittie just automatically appeared and made Ruthie soup. The rest of the book was awesome though!!!
I would recommend this book to people who love adventures, braveness,mysteries and FUN!!!!!! This is one of my favorite books ever. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!!!
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