One very cool thing about having writer friends is that you get to read their new books before they are released into the world – which is how I got a sneak peek at Wendy McLeod MacKnight’s latest middle grade mystery, THE FRAME-UP.
I was lucky enough to befriend Wendy last year, as we navigated the debut author world together. I interviewed her then about her novel, IT’S A MYSTERY PIG-FACE, and got to interview her again last month over at the From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog about her latest novel, THE FRAME-UP, a book that quickly became one of my favorite middle grade reads.
When Sargent Singer discovers that the paintings in his father’s gallery are alive, he is pulled into a captivating world behind the frame that he never knew existed.
Filled with shady characters, devious plots, and a grand art heist, this inventive mystery-adventure celebrates art and artists and is perfect for fans of Night at the Museum and Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer.
There’s one important rule at the Beaverbrook Gallery—don’t let anyone know the paintings are alive. Mona Dunn, forever frozen at thirteen when her portrait was painted by William Orpen, has just broken that rule. Luckily twelve-year-old Sargent Singer, an aspiring artist himself, is more interested in learning about the vast and intriguing world behind the frame than he is in sharing her secret.
And when Mona and Sargent suspect shady dealings are happening behind the scenes at the gallery, they set out to find the culprit. They must find a way to save the gallery—and each other—before they are lost forever.
With an imaginative setting, lots of intrigue, and a thoroughly engaging cast of characters, The Frame-Up will captivate readers of Jacqueline West’s The Books of Elsewhere.
The Frame-Up by Wendy McLeod MacKnight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of my favorite reads this year. Wendy McLeod MacKnight blends humor, mystery, heart, and art in this fun and intriguing middle grade novel. Great characters abound – both inside and outside of the paintings. And MacKnight keeps the mystery tight and the plot moving while mixing in just the right amount of relationship/family problems. Clever. Innovative. Great writing. And a fun read. This one is timeless.
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- Humor. It’s funny! Smart characters and great, imaginative situations.
- Pictures that come to life – and have a life.
- A great mystery.
- Art. Lots of it. Real life masterpieces, art theory, and art history come to life in this book.
- A fun boy/girl friendship.
- A good depiction of the difficulties of staying with your non-custodial parent.
THE FRAME-UP is available now. You can pick up a copy online or at your nearest independent bookseller.