In this Masterpiece Adventure, the first in a companion series for younger readers from bestselling author Elise Broach, James is going on vacation for a week. His best friend, Marvin the beetle, has to stay at home. Without James to keep him company, Marvin has to play with his annoying cousin, Elaine. Marvin and Elaine quickly find themselves getting into all sorts of troubleeven getting trapped inside a pencil sharpener! Marvin misses James and starts to worry about their friendship. Will James still be Marvin's friend when he gets home or will James have found a new best friend?
The Miniature World of Marvin and James by Elise Broach, with illustrations by Kelly Murphy, is the first in a series of chapter books set in the world of the acclaimed middle-grade novel Masterpiece.
A Christy Ottaviano Book
About the Author
Elise Broach is the New York Times-bestselling author of books for children and young adults, including Desert Crossing, Shakespeare's Secret, Masterpiece, and the Superstition Mountain Mysteries series. Her books have been selected as ALA Notable Books, Junior Library Guild selections, the recipient of an E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and an Edgar Award nominee, among other distinctions. She lives in Connecticut with her family.
Kelly Murphy has illustrated many books for children including Masterpiece, Alex and the Amazing Time Machine, and the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist books. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Read an Excerpt
The Miniature World of Marvin & James
By Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy
Henry Holt and CompanyCopyright © 2014 Elise Broach
All rights reserved.
James Says Good-bye
Marvin is sad.
James is going away.
"Just to the beach," James tells him.
Mrs. Pompaday and William are going too.
Only Mr. Pompaday will stay. Marvin does not like Mr. Pompaday.
James says, "I will be back in a week."
That does not make Marvin feel better. A week is a long time! He will miss James.
He rolls into a ball, like this:
James leans close to Marvin. "Don't be sad, little guy. When I come home, I'll bring you a surprise!"
Even that does not make Marvin feel better. What will he do without James? James is his best friend.
"You can help me pack," James says. He lifts his suitcase onto the bed.
Marvin does not want to help James pack. But at least it is something they can do together.
James has a list of everything he needs to pack. He puts the list on his desk.
"Now, when I say something, cross it off," James tells Marvin. He opens the bottle of ink on the desk. He puts the cap next to Marvin with a little ink in it.
Marvin can't read, but he is good at crossing things off. He dips his front legs in the ink.
"One," says James. "Socks." He puts socks in the suitcase.
Marvin draws a line through the first word on the list.
"Two," says James. "Underwear." He puts underwear in the suitcase.
Marvin draws a line through the second word.
"Three ... swimsuit." James puts his swimsuit in the suitcase. It has dragonflies on it. Marvin thinks it would look nicer with beetles. He draws a line through the third word on the list.
"Four ... pajamas." James puts his pajamas in the suitcase.
Marvin draws a line through the fourth word.
"See? You are really helping!" James tells him. "That is half my list. Five ... shirts." He puts shirts in the suitcase.
Oops! Marvin has no more ink on his legs. He dips them in the cap again. He draws a line through the fifth word on the list.
"Six ... shorts. My suitcase is almost full." James squeezes his shorts into the suitcase.
Marvin draws a line through the sixth word on the list.
"Seven ... toothbrush. I always forget my toothbrush," James tells Marvin. "That's why I made a list in the first place." He puts his toothbrush in the suitcase.
Marvin draws a line through the seventh word.
There is only one word left.
"Eight ... book! That's everything," says James. He takes a book from his shelf. Marvin draws a line through the last word on the list.
"There's no room," James says. He puts the book on the floor and moves things around in the suitcase.
"James!" Mrs. Pompaday calls. "Are you ready? We can't be late for the plane."
"Coming, Mom," James says. He zips his suitcase shut.
Excerpted from The Miniature World of Marvin & James by Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy. Copyright © 2014 Elise Broach. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
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Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE James Says Good-bye,
CHAPTER TWO In the Study,
CHAPTER THREE Trapped!,
CHAPTER FOUR A Way Out,
CHAPTER FIVE Homecoming!,