With April Vacation week coming up, families are going to be looking for things to do! If you’re still around, you should consider visiting one of our local museums. Boston is one of the best places in the world for museum-hopping! And get a good deal by borrowing one of the Weston Library’s Museum Passes…they offer discounted prices for visits. Call the Reference and Information Desk for details.
If you do go to a museum, or if you just like visiting museums, try one of these books during vacation week. Each of them features a museum as a key part of the plot!
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Dive into a story about
Allison, Jennifer. Gilda Joyce: the Dead Drop
When Gilda lands a summer internship at Washington, D.C.’s International Spy Museum, she finds herself embroiled in both a museum haunting and a real case of espionage. While investigating a cemetery where Abraham Lincoln’s son was once buried, Gilda stumbles upon a spy’s dead drop of classified information. Gilda’s efforts to decode the cryptic message lead to further intrigues: Is she on the trail of a mole operating inside the U.S. intelligence community? Aware that nothing is what it seems when it comes to spies in Washington, D.C., Gilda faces the most serious challenge yet in her career as a psychic spy. Read the entire Gilda Joyce series!
Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer
When a book of unexplainable occurrences brings Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay together, strange things start to happen. Seemingly unrelated events connect, an eccentric old woman seeks their company, and an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one — neighbors, parents, teachers — is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem-solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has left even the FBI baffled? If you enjoy this, check out the sequels The Wright 3 and The Calder Game.
Bosch, Pseudonymous. The Name of This Book is Secret
This is the story about a secret, but it also contains a secret story. When adventurous detectives Cass, an ever-vigilant survivalist, and Max-Ernest, a boy driven by logic, discover the Symphony of Smells, a box filled with smelly vials of colorful ingredients, they accidentally stumble upon a mystery surrounding a dead magician’s diary and the hunt for immortality. Filled with word games, anagrams, and featuring a mysterious narrator, this is a book that won’t stay secret for long. The first book in the Secret Series.
Broach, Elise. Masterpiece
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!).
Estes, Eleanor. The Moffat Museum
There has never been a museum in Cranbury… until now. Among its treasures are the first bike each of the Moffat kids rode, stardust from a meteor that fell to earth, a beautiful painting made by Sylvie, and — most spectacularly — Rufus, the Waxworks Boy, who is as funny as he is waxy. The museum is so interesting that Mr. Pennypepper even brings tourists to visit. But the museum is really for Jane, Joey, and Rufus themselves, so they can remember all the good times they’ve had. Because life is changing for the Moffats. Yet even if Sylvie gets married, or Joey goes off to work, or Rufus grows up, one thing will never change: The Moffats are still the sort to hilariously fill even the most ordinary day with extraordinary fun. Read the entire Moffat series!
Flavin, Teresa. The Blackhope Enigma
An ancient painting, a magical labyrinth, and skeletons found in a locked room… For centuries, Blackhope Tower has been shrouded in intrigue, centering on a labyrinth and painting in the Mariner’s Chamber. When Sunni Forrest visits the tower and sees her stepbrother, Dean, disappear, seemingly into the painting itself, she must find him and risk being drawn into the heart of the Blackhope enigma. This action-packed debut follows Dean, Sunni, and her friend Blaise on a journey to the heart of an age-old mystery. Check out the sequels The Crimson Shard and The Shadow Lantern.
Golds, Cassandra. The Museum of Mary Child
Heloise lives with her strict and forbidding godmother in an isolated cottage where the emphasis is on doing one’s duty and avoiding all things which could be considered a waste of time. Next door is a sinister museum dedicated to the memory of Mary Child. Visitors enter the museum with a smile, but depart with fear in their eyes. Heloise has never been in the museum. When she finds a mysterious doll, she’s forced to run away, ending up in an orphanage. But one day she must return to the house where the devastating secret of her past awaits.
Johnston, Tony. The Mummy’s Mother
A young mummy boy named Ramose is awakened one day by the sound of grave-robbers invading his home — the pharaoh’s tomb. They’ve stolen his mother (who’s also a mummy) and now it’s up to Ramose to find her. With the help of a cranky talking camel and some young American tourists, Ramose finds himself en route to New York City, home of an important museum and its famous collection of mummies.
Konigsburg, E. L. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
LaFevers, R. L. Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos
Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo, and only Theo, who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. When Theo’s mother returns from her latest archaeological dig bearing the Heart of Egypt, a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb, Theo learns that it comes inscribed with a curse so black and vile that it threatens to crumble the British Empire from within and start a war too terrible to imagine. Intent on returning the malevolent artifact to its rightful place, Theo devises a daring plan to put things right. But even with the help of her younger brother, a wily street urchin, and the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, it won’t be easy… The first in the Theodosia series.
Malone, Marianne. The Sixty-Eight Rooms
Almost everybody who has grown up in Chicago knows about the Thorne Rooms. Housed in the Children’s Galleries of the Chicago Art Institute, they are a collection of 68 exquisitely crafted miniature rooms made in the 1930s by Mrs. James Ward Thorne. Each of the 68 rooms is designed in the style of a different historic period, and every detail is perfect, from the knobs on the doors to the candles in the candlesticks. Some might even say, the rooms are magic. Imagine — what if you discovered a key that allowed you to shrink so that you were small enough to sneak inside and explore the rooms’ secrets? What if you discovered that others had done so before you? And that someone had left something important behind? Also read the other Sixty-Eight Room Adventures: Stealing Magic and The Pirate’s Coin.
Newsome, Richard. The Billionaire’s Curse
Gerald Wilkins never considered himself a particularly exceptional thirteen-year-old. But that was before he inherited twenty billion pounds, a Caribbean island, a yacht, and three estates from a great-aunt he never knew. With this fortune, however, comes a letter. One from his great-aunt Geraldine. One that tells Gerald that she was murdered, and that it’s up to him to find out why. Along with his friends Ruby and Sam, Gerald embarks on a journey that will lead him from the British Museum to dodgy social clubs for the disgustingly rich to mansions in the English countryside to secret places far underground. Who was Geraldine Archer? And what secrets was she hiding? Unless Gerald, Sam, and Ruby can find out before the killer does, they may be next. The first book in The Archer Legacy trilogy.
Riordan, Rick. The Red Pyramid
Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them–Set–has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe — a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs. (I don’t even have to say this is the first in the Kane Chronicles, do I?)
Santopolo, Jill. The Niña, the Pinta, and the Vanishing Treasure
Alec Flint is practicing to be a super sleuth. He’s even got a pair of super sleuth pants with lots of pockets to hide his detective tools, and a sidekick Gina, who’s a little bit bossy, but a really great detective and friend. When his dad, a local police officer, tells Alec the Christopher Columbus exhibit has gone missing from the town museum, Alec is on the case! You can read his second case too: The Ransom Note Blues. And more adventures should be on the way!
Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing heading in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these independent stories — Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in picture — weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.
Stout, Shawn. Penelope Crumb Never Forgets
Penelope Crumb’s best friend Patsy Cline Roberta Watson is becoming best friends with another girl in class, so Penelope decides she needs to win her back. Compliments and presents fail, and Penelope is afraid she’ll lose Patsy Cline forever, so she decides to swipe Patsy’s necklace and start a secret museum to remember all the people she cares about, in case they leave her too. But stealing turns out not to be the best plan when Grandpa Felix calls the police about his missing camera, forcing Penelope to confess. Now she’s lost both Patsy Cline AND her museum. But in the end she makes a huge personal sacrifice to repair her friendship with Patsy and finds out that drawing pictures—what she likes to do best!—is a way to make a personal museum that doesn’t involve any sort of stealing.
Tanner, Lian. Museum of Thieves
Welcome to the tyrannical city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime. Goldie Roth has lived in Jewel all her life. Like every child in the city, she wears a silver guardchain and is forced to obey the dreaded Blessed Guardians. She has never done anything by herself and won’t be allowed out on the streets unchained until Separation Day. When Separation Day is canceled, Goldie, who has always been both impatient and bold, runs away, risking not only her own life but also the lives of those she has left behind. In the chaos that follows, she is lured to the mysterious Museum of Dunt, where she meets the boy Toadspit and discovers terrible secrets. Only the cunning mind of a thief can understand the museum’s strange, shifting rooms. Fortunately, Goldie has a talent for thieving. Which is just as well, because the leader of the Blessed Guardians has his own plans for the museum, plans that threaten the lives of everyone Goldie loves. And it will take a daring thief to stop him… The first in the Keepers Trilogy.
Van Eekhout, Greg. Kid vs. Squid
Thatcher Hill is bored stiff of his summer job dusting the fake mermaids and shrunken heads at his uncle’s seaside Museum of Curiosities. But when a mysterious girl steals an artifact from the museum, Thatcher’s summer becomes an adventure that takes him from the top of the ferris wheel to the depths of the sea. Following the thief, he learns that she is a princess of the lost Atlantis. Her people have been cursed by an evil witch to drift at sea all winter and wash up on shore each summer to an even more terrible fate—working the midway games and food stands on the boardwalk. Can Thatcher help save them before he, too, succumbs to the witch’s curse?
Van Leeuwen, Jean. The Great Googlestein Museum Mystery
Tired of their comfortable digs in Macy’s department store, Marvin, Fats, and Raymond are three mice searching for adventure. Following a hair-raising ride in a shopping bag, they find themselves disembarking in front of the famous Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art. There they discover many interesting things about the world of humans. Fats discovers that blobs of jam on canvas isn’t food, it’s art! But will his newfound artistic talent go to his head? Meanwhile, will Marvin be able to pull off the most daring skating stunt of the century? And will poor Raymond run out of brilliant ways to save his friends from sticky situations-or worse, the exterminator?
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AND FOR TEENS:
Bray, Libba. The Diviners
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City — and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult — also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.” When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer — if he doesn’t catch her first.
Bryant, Jennifer. Pieces of Georgia
Like her mother, Georgia McCoy is an artist, but her dad looks away whenever he sees her with a sketchbook. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it was like when her mother was still alive . . . when they were a family . . . when they were happy. But then a few days after her 13th birthday, Georgia receives an unexpected gift — a strange, formal letter, all typed up and signed anonymous — granting her free admission to the Brandywine River Museum for a whole year. And things begin to change.
Hayes, Daniel. The Eye of the Beholder
Tyler and Lymie are sick in bed and bored out of their minds. But while their hometown plans a festival for a famous local artist, and folks scramble to find his last known works of art, the boys hatch a clever plot. Tyler and Limy create their own sculptures as a joke and discard them near the artist’s studio. But when the sculptures are found and determined to be authentic, the art world is suddenly abuzz with news of the amazing discovery — and two boys with great imaginations are in a hilarious heap of trouble. . . .
Richards, Justin. The Death Collector
What starts as an ordinary picket-pocketing incident in Victorian London unites three teens against a madman. Eddie is the pickpocket; George is an assistant at the British Museum; Elizabeth has a nose for trouble — and all of them are being hunted by Augustus Lorimore. Lorimore is a sinister factory owner, a villain bent on reanimating the dead, both humans and dinosaurs – -and one of each is already terrorizing the streets of London. It’s up to Eddie, George, and Elizabeth to stop Lorimore’s monsters . . . or die trying.
Booklist prepared by Casey S.
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If you want an informative book about museums and how they work, try How the Sphinx got to the Museum or The Museum Book, both in our non-fiction collection. These books are two of my favorites, which make museum visits fun and exciting, but we have many more! The Dewey Numbers for Museums range from J 700 (for general art) to J 709 (for more specific collections.) Come in and get some ideas for your next museum visit about what to look at and to look for to enhance your visit.
And as always, come into the Library for any suggestions about what to read!