Thursday, June 07, 2018

The Frame-Up

36039615MacKnight, Wendy McLeod.The Frame-Up
June 5th 2018 by Greenwillow Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Nora has been in a painting in the Beaverbrook Gallery for over 100 years. The characters in paintings can come alive, but they are careful not to let humans know about this. They have social events, visit, and generally have a good time. When paintings are due to be restored at the gallery, the residents are less than thrilled, because it means time spent in a dark workshop away from their friends. The manager of the gallery, Isaac Singer, is having his son visit for the summer. Sargent usually lives with his mother and stepfather, and doesn't get along terribly well with his father. He is, however, a talented painter, so not sad about spending the summer at the gallery and attending the camps there. On the plane, he meets Mr. Sneely, who is going to be restoring the paintings. Sneely is not the most pleasant man, and Sargent is glad he doesn't have to spend a lot of time with him. When Sargent sees Nora in another painting, he thinks at first that he is hallucinating, but when another incident occurs, Nora speaks to him and tells him the secrets of the paintings. He agrees to keep the secret, even though the gallery needs money badly. He gets to know the residents of the paintings, and even arranges for them to watch movies, which they love. One of the residents, Dusk, seems to be involved in something (ahem) shady, and Sneely is also suspicious. Nora and Sargent start to worry that copies are being made of the paintings, and that this will mean something bad for the originals. Sargent also finds out secrets about his father's past, and learns to get along with him, thanks in part to Janice, his father's fiance. Can Nora and Sargent prevent tragedy from befalling the Beaverbrook Collection?
Strengths: This was an innovative use of characters in paintings, and the addition of the actual art at the beginning of the book was very helpful. The backstories, the rules, the way that the characters are able to travel between paintings-- all innovative and fun. I was even more intrigued with Sargent's story and his interaction with his father. There are a lot of children who don't know their noncustodial parents well, but there are not that many stories about this. All in all, a fresh premise with an intriguing mystery that moved quickly.
Weaknesses: Art mysteries just do not move at my library. I love Runholdt's Kari and Lucas mysteries and Malone's The Sixty-Eight Rooms, but they just don't circulate. This was a lot like West's The Shadows which I also like; I think I've had two students read this series this year.
What I really think: I will probably not purchase, even though I enjoyed it.
Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't the plot sound similar to Night in the Museum?