Jack and Ruthie visit the Art Institute of Chicago and are amazed by the Thorne Rooms. While exploring the rooms they meet a security guard named Mr. Bell and they find a mysterious key. The key allows them to shrink down to miniature size. With the key they decide to spend the night in the museum and explore the Thorne Rooms. They discover that people exist in the rooms when they visit the French Revolution and Salem Witch Trial periods. Jack and Ruthie are also amazed at the modern artifacts they find in the rooms. Has someone else visited the rooms?
I think the premise of this book is an interesting one. The Thorne Rooms are amazing and who wouldn’t want to explore them? I also liked the intertwining stories of the kids and Mr. Bell. I guess my problem with the book was that it was a bit unwieldy and awkward at times. I felt like the vocabulary and speech of the kids wasn’t authentic; I don’t know any 6th graders who talk like Jack and Ruthie. I also wanted more exploration of the rooms. There was more explanation of shrinking/growing and managing to get into the rooms then there was of the actual rooms. There is a fun mystery quality to the book, but it is a bit predictable.