Stealing Magic (Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure Series #2)

Stealing Magic (Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure Series #2)

4.4 11
by Marianne Malone, Greg Call

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Ruthie and Jack thought that their adventures in the Thorne Rooms were over . . . until miniatures from the rooms start to disappear. Is it the work of the art thief who's on the loose in Chicago? Or has someone else discovered the secret of the Thorne Rooms' magic? Ruthie and Jack's quest to stop the thief takes them from modern day Chicago to 1937 Paris to


Ruthie and Jack thought that their adventures in the Thorne Rooms were over . . . until miniatures from the rooms start to disappear. Is it the work of the art thief who's on the loose in Chicago? Or has someone else discovered the secret of the Thorne Rooms' magic? Ruthie and Jack's quest to stop the thief takes them from modern day Chicago to 1937 Paris to antebellum South Carolina. But as more items disappear, including the key that allows them to shrink and access the past worlds, what was once just an adventure becomes a life and death race against the clock. Can Ruthie and Jack catch the thief and help the friends they meet on the way before the magic—and the rooms—are destroyed forever? Fans of magic, mystery, and adventure will love this rollicking sequel to Marianne Malone's The Sixty-Eight Rooms.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Mystery abounds once again in the miniature Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. Though their first adventure is over (The Sixty-Eight Rooms, 2010), Ruthie and Jack still possess the magical key that can shrink them down to fit into the tiny rooms at the museum. They know they should return it, but it's difficult to walk away from that kind of power. Suddenly, objects start disappearing from the rooms. There is also a real-life art thief striking the city. Could the two be connected? Having established the magical premise in the first volume, this story jumps right into the action--but one would be hard pressed to say the narrative is action-packed. In this light read that tumbles along pleasantly enough, the pair also visit the World's Fair in 1937 Paris, meeting a girl who may not escape the horrors of World War II, as well as the antebellum South, where they meet a young enslaved girl. These junkets provide a hint of tension but are quickly, and neatly, resolved, leaving readers poised for the next comfortable outing. A blend of magic, history and mystery for patient readers who want to catch the crook but don't necessarily need a good chase. (Fantasy. 8-12)
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Sixth-grade sleuths Jack and Ruthie love to visit the Thorne Rooms at Chicago's Art Institute, but not simply because they love to see the carefully crafted miniature rooms. In the previous book, The Sixty-Eight Rooms, they discovered an amazing secret: with the help of a special key, they can shrink to the size of the magical rooms. In addition to being perfectly decorated to reflect a certain time period and location, the rooms serve as portals for time travel. Jack and Ruthie can travel through time to the places depicted in the rooms. In this title, the second in the series, the young friends notice that objects are missing from the Thorne Rooms, and many of the rooms that were once animated, magical portals have gone silent and dead. Around Chicago, an art thief is on the loose, stealing antique treasures and important works of art. To add to this stress, Jack and Ruthie make a friend in Paris of 1937 and desperately need to get back to her to warn her of the importance of immigrating to America before Hitler invades. With the help of allies at the museum and fellow adventurer Mrs. McVittie, Jack and Ruthie put together the clues to uncover a clever thief while making friends in the past. Readers of the first book will enjoy the continued challenges the young heroes face and their creative solutions. Call's detailed artwork gives readers a taste of different times, places, and people while illustrating key plot points. For fans of Chasing Vermeer, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and classics such as The Littles and the Borrowers, this title is a fine addition to other stories involving art, mystery, and the victory of the little guy. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—A magical romp infused with mystery, this sequel picks up just hours after the conclusion of The Sixty-Eight Rooms (Random, 2010). Sixth-graders Ruthie and Jack return to the Thorne Rooms, the 68 miniature rooms in the Art Institute of Chicago, where Ruthie once again shrinks to explore the rooms using her magic key. They discover that someone has responded to the note they left in Jack's shrunken Bento box. To further complicate matters, the friends realize that items are missing from the rooms and they make a connection between them and a spree of art thefts. Ruthie and Jack put their detecting skills to the test, encountering more enchantment that transports them to 1800s Charleston, SC, and 1937 Paris in their quest to find the thief and help people they meet in their travels. Explanations of previous plot points detract from the story; they are too detailed for those who read the original and not quite enough for those who have not. Secondary characters are fleshed out and become more prominent than they were in the first book. Black-and-white full-page illustrations are scattered throughout, and, although lovely, they don't enhance the plot. An author's note helps readers differentiate between fact and fiction. This book will appeal to established fans.—Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventures Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

MARIANNE MALONE is the mother of three grown children, a former art teacher, and the cofounder of the Campus School Middle School for Girls in Urbana, Illinois. She and her husband divide their time between Urbana and Washington, DC. This is her first novel. You can visit her Web site at

From the Hardcover edition.

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Stealing Magic 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Athena Sferas More than 1 year ago
im excited for this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I reported anonymous
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ruthie and her best friend Jack are mini-celebrities in Chicago, after finding (and solving a mystery) a long-lost collection of photos. Mr. Bell, the photographer, didn't know that they found the photo album in a backpack. His daughter' ( now grown up) backpack, which was in one of the Thorne Rooms--which you have to be 5 " (inches) tall to fit into. Jack found a magic key earlier on and with Ruthie explored them. One of the rooms was in France, just before the Frencg Revolution. There they met Sophie, a young girl living in the lap of luxury. Jack (somewhat stupidly) warend her and her tutor. In the Early American room they met Tomas, a brave little boy. Ruthie found later that he carved a ship.A wellknown one. Ruthie and Jack wondered if Ms. Thorne had SHRUNK it and put in the room? And were her workers work (the rugs, tapestries and clothing much too intricate oe bid fibgers and hands) also once big-sized then shrunk? But Jack and Ruthie's questions number when items (like Tomas's boat) start dissapearing! Who is this theif, and how are they snachting stuff?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another epic book for an epic adventure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont have any money to buy books but i read the sixty-eight rooms n i loved it so i am shure this book will be good!!!!! I will be getting money to buy books soon n i will get this 1 n will rate it when i am done reading it!!!!!! See ya later!!!!!!!!! :):):):):):):):)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great book. Read it in school and i couldn't put it down!
Claire Siewert More than 1 year ago
Sooo excited for the book. I've been waiting forever for it. I hope it's as good as the first. Great job Marianne Malone by the way, for giving me an incredible first book, The Sixty-Eight Rooms and a second that is hopefully as good or better than the first. Hopefully waiting. Cannot wait much more, much less until it comes out! Hurry!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant wait!