The Sixty-Eight Rooms
By Marianne Malone
Random House, 2010. 274 pp. Juvenile fiction.
When Ruthie's sixth-grade class takes a field trip to Chicago's Art Institute, she discovers the Thorne Rooms, tiny historical rooms decorated to coincide with specific time periods. She is completely enraptured with the rooms, and when she discovers a key that enables her to shrink to fit the rooms, she is desperate to find a way to explore them. With the help of her best friend, Jack, Ruthie begins a miniature adventure that might be small in size but has great impact on many lives.
This book was delightful! Although the writing could have been smoother and more engaging, the story itself was still interesting enough to capture children's imaginations. I've always loved stories about "tiny people" and so this was a familiar joy to read. The blending of fantasy and history is a nice way for children to get excited about the past and hopefully want to learn more about history.