Masterpiece by Elise Broach

Young Llama Thoughts
  • Adventurous
  • Christian Friendly
  • Easy Reading
  • Humerous
  • Youth Appropriate
3.6 Llamas


You know when you have high expectations for a book and then it disappoints quite quickly? Well in this case the book was actually ok, a bit slow but towards the end something rather dark happened that I will be spoiling in this review. (You have been warned!)

This book is about Marvin, your everyday average beetle. And James, your everyday average boy. But on James’s birthday, Marvin draws him a masterpiece miniature drawing. Now James is getting all the credit for it, and is expected to do it again. But this time he is requested to draw a forgery of a Dürer to help prevent a art heist. However, all is not what it seems and Marvin and James must work together to stop the masterpiece from being lost forever before it’s too late!

This was a pretty good book. It was a bit slow for my tastes, the build-up took awhile. But the book was sweet and fun; a great book for boys and girls 8 and up! Now, there is some lying mentioned as well as talk of different beetles dying. But it isn’t too detailed, totally clean for kids. (Just be aware of the fact the the parents in the book are kind-of horrible at times. They only care about themselves… Sad right?)

Although this book was mostly clean and a fun read for kids, there is 1 dark part in the novel that really caught me by surprise. Soooo.. SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!! (Towards the end of the novel, there is a chapter where the boy is trying to figure out how to get out of the lie he and the bug created. So, his solution is to not tell his parents the truth and to stick his hand into the door of a car while it is closing to purposely break his hand in a horrible way… I got to be honest with you, this is kind-of dark….  I was not expecting that to happen and I don’t know if I would let a kid read this!)

Overall, this book started out ok and ended rather dark. I don’t know if I would suggest this to kids… Yes it is a clean book and yes a fun adventure; however, it has a dark moment I think kids should avoid… Anyways, have a nice day!!!! -The Young Llama Reader.


  • A funny adventure of bug and boy!
  • A clean read for boys!
  • Funny and entertaining!


  • Some violence mentioned…
  • Lots of lying…

A New York Times bestselling middle grade mystery novel full of adventure, friendship, and stolen art.

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!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle.

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