Under the Egg (Paperback)
Theodora Tenpenny is just trying to survive in New York City. Her beloved grandfather has recently died, and her mother sits in her study all day, trying to complete her doctoral dissertation that's 30 years overdue. Their house is falling down around them, and money is running out. When her grandfather died, he told Theo to "look under the egg." Theo discovers a mysterious painting and, in the process of identifying it, uncovers an even greater mystery. This is a spectacular middle grade novel! The author ranks with Blue Balliett and Rebecca Stead in creating a magical, clever tale.— Cathy
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets Chasing Vermeer in this clever middle grade debut
When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.
With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo's search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she'll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.
“Uniquely readable, entirely charming, and a pleasure from start to finish. Debuts this good are meant to be discovered.” —SLJ Fuse 8 Blog
“Riveting from start to finish.” —BookPage
About the Author
In writing Under the Egg, Laura Marx Fitzgerald drew on her study of art history at Harvard and Cambridge Universities. She lives in Brooklyn, and this is her middle grade debut.
Praise for Under the Egg
An Indie Next List Pick!
"It's really a very compelling read and I don't know how she did it." – Kate DiCamillo on NPR
“With surprising twists, heartwarming moments and historical facts, Laura Marx Fitzgerald creates the perfect adventure in Under the Egg. Art enthusiast or not, any girl will love this book.” – GirlsLife.com
* "Along with the themes of research, family commitment, and Holocaust history, fans of Koningsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer will thrill at the chance to solve a new mystery centered around art." - Library Media Connection, starred review
"Uniquely readable, entirely charming, and a pleasure from start to finish. Debuts this good are meant to be discovered." – Betsy Bird, SLJ Fuse 8 Blog
"A fast-paced mystery...If Dan Brown of The Da Vinci Code wrote middle-grade novels, this would be the one." - Kirkus Reviews
"Fans of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will find this another delightful lesson in art history." - Publishers Weekly
"Fans of Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer and Elise Broach’s Masterpiece will enjoy this art caper." - School Library Journal
"A gripping mystery with high stakes and moving historical context...[Fitzgerald's] focus on restitution and the personal value of art adds considerable depth to the narrative." - The Horn Book
"Under the Egg” is an exciting page-turner." - Deseret News
"Riveting from start to finish." - BookPage
“This mix of mystery, history and art will keep readers wondering right up to the surprising end.” – Discovery Girls