Dear Elise Broach,

MasterpieceMaybe my disappointment with Masterpiece comes from a deep-seated love for A Cricket in Times Square, and the assumption that Masterpiece would be similar.  Maybe it’s because I adored the other titles I’ve read for the mock Newbery my book club is doing.  Maybe it just doesn’t have that spark I was hoping for.  At any rate, I didn’t think your book was up there with some of the others I’ve read lately–the characters fell a little flat, and the plot didn’t really get interesting until the final chapter or two.  I appreciated some of the art talk, since I’m an art lover, but I’m not sure how that would play with anyone who doesn’t like to sit in front of the same piece in a museum for hours (oh yeah, I’ve done it).  I also didn’t like the fact that the beetle, responsible for all the excellent artwork, never gets the credit for it–there was neither the miraculous ability to make humans see and believe that Chester had, nor the modest and practical self-sacrifice of Charlotte. True, it’s often good to deviate from the plot conventions of the classics, but I’m not convinced keeping the whole thing a big secret was the best way to do it.  This was one bug that didn’t live up to my dream for him.  Still, I’m interested to read whatever you write next, and I can certainly imagine the audience who’d love this title.  Three stars, but they’re sparkly stars.



Wanna check out this title for yourself?  Try the Indie Bound or ABC bookstore finders!


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