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by Elise Broach

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1,2609215,286 (3.98)8
After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays' apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy. After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can't go through with the plan without Marvin's help. And that's where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle.
  PlumfieldCH | Sep 22, 2023 |
children's fiction. Likeable story that should appeal to boys and girls, drags a bit at the end (and they never do catch the criminal). Should work well for a read-aloud. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
This was a family listen, though one of my kids had read it before. Though it is geared toward middle readers (grades 3-5) it was still an enjoyable story and made me think twice before carelessly swatting a bug. Like a Cricket in Times Square, this story presents a talented lovable insect who is able to interact with humans. Marvin is a beetle living in the Pompaday family's NYC apartment. When 11-year-old James gets an ink drawing set from his artistic father, Marvin and James' friendship begins. Marvin crawls through the ink one night and then onto paper to create a stunning cityscape as a birthday gift for James. James is a bit of a misfit at school and is living with his mother, step-father and demanding step-baby-brother and Marvin witnesses his dejection. The drawing is an attempt to cheer him up. However, Mrs. Pompaday finds it, assumes James made it and importunes Carl, his father, to take him to the Met for further art exposure. James is asked to create a copy of one of Albrecht Durer's drawings to foil an art robbery. Marvin actually does the drawing, and James gets the credit, and together they solve the mystery. A sweet story and an excellent way to get kids interested in art in the tradition of Blue Balliett and E.L. Konigsburg. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
This one got so much hype, and I was disappointed. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't very good, either. I'm not sure what kind of reader would sit through the first part of talking cockroaches in the walls, and then be interested in a discussion of the Four Virtues. The crime/mystery part was interesting, but it took entirely too long to get there. ( )
  amandabock | Dec 10, 2019 |
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"Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. When we haven't time, and to see makes time-like to have a friend takes time."
-Georgia O'Keeffe
For Zoe, Harry, and Grace
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Home, for Marvin's family, was a damp corner of the cupboard beneath the kitchen sink.
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After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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