The Sixty-Eight Rooms.

By Marianne Malone. Read by Cassandra Campbell. 7 hrs. Listening Library, 2011. 9780307916334. Grades 3-6.

Ruthie and Jack are on a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago when they become enamored by the Thorne Rooms. They are 68 miniature rooms fully furnished, each room representing a place and time period from around the world. When Ruthie feels like there is something magical about them, she doesn’t realize how literal that is. Jack gets a sneak peak down the back hallway of the rooms and finds a mysterious key. The two find out that the key shrinks them down to the scale of the rooms. They decide to sneak in and stay over at the Thorne Rooms one night and discover two surprises. One is that someone else has done this before and left clues behind. And the other one is a surprise for you to find out!

This book is very similar to The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett in that it is an art mystery situated in a famous historic Chicago landmark. The kids sneak around unbeknownst to the grown-ups to solve a mystery where they need to study the art. In this case, the kids study the archives on the Thorne Rooms to learn more about it. (Library skills!!!) #geekedout

The audio was all right but it didn’t really add anything to the story. And the narrator sounds a little old fashioned like she should be narrating Nancy Drew instead. I would probably go with the print edition on this one.

Tags: fantasy, art, Chicago, researching archives, history, time travel