- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 16 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Listening Library
- Audible.com Release Date: April 5, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004V6AU40
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Sixty-Eight Rooms Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Marianne Malone wraps up adventure, art, history, and mystery in a perfectly fun package. The Sixty-Eight Rooms addresses many types of friendship - that of Ruthie & Jack, that of Mr. Bell and Lydia, Ruthie's dad & Mrs. McVittie, Ruthie's mum and her mentor professor. It addresses adversity - Jack & his mum Lydia may have to leave a wonderfully concocted artist's loft if Lydia doesn't sell a few of her paintings to pay the rent. Loss is a theme - when Ruthie's mum's mentor/professor dies, and when we learn that Mr. Bell's best work (he's a photographer) disappeared years ago. And peripherally, who isn't fascinated with miniatures?
The children plan a winter weekend of exploration in the Thorne Rooms in the museum at the Art Institute in Chicago after it closes - their planning is thorough and creative; while they understand that what they are doing is not kosher, the lure of adventure is simply irresistible. I think the book is oh so realistic in all it conveys and portrays of the life and world of modern urban kids, which is a perfect counterpoint to the magic of the key, and the mystery of the exquisite, historically accurate, and totally real Thorne Rooms.
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.Read more ›
A boy and a girl are the central characters in both books.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought all of the books in this series for grandchildren; I always read the books I plan to give beforehand. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Karen L. Hansen
This series is absolutely wonderful, especially if you are interested in miniatures like I am.Published 3 months ago by MISSMYBOYS
More of a 3.5
Ruthie, sixth grader at a private school in Chicago, feels like her life is utterly boring. Read more
I love anything time travel. I recommend this book for 3rd o 5th graders who like fantasy or history. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mom of a preschooler and kindergartener
An adventure to read, even for a grown up. A new place to add to my travel list. What a delightPublished 9 months ago by Pat B-C
I just finished this, and what fun it was. It was thoroughly absorbing (especially as I bought the newer color version of the Thorne Rooms by the Art Institute of Chicago (I have... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Nab