Early Readers


James to the Rescue 
Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Henry Holt and Company, February 2016
For ages 6-9

In the second book of the Masterpiece Adventures series, the beetles are happily embarking on a collecting expedition — searching for human objects that they can put to use at home — when Uncle Albert injures himself in a terrible accident. Marvin knows there is only one way to save his uncle, and he needs the help of his best friend, James!

 A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION

“The characters have distinct personalities, the story is well-paced, and the focus on unlikely alliances and mutual trust suffuses the tale with warmth. Full of drama and heart, this is the kind of series that can show newly independent readers the power of a good story.”
Kirkus

“Kids will be fascinated by the tiny characters’ adventures and their creative repurposing of items, just as earlier readers enjoyed Mary Norton’s The Borrowers (1952) and John Peterson’s The Littles (1967)… Wonderful fare for transitional readers.”
– 
Booklist

“The emotional connection between James and Marvin is clear, and the exciting plot compels readers to keep turning the pages…The possibilities for adventure are endless, and young readers and teachers looking for a quick, satisfying read (and read-aloud) for the early primary grades will enjoy this installment and look forward to many more.”
– The Horn Book

 

The Miniature World of Marvin and James 
Book I in The Masterpiece Adventures
Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Henry Holt and Company, February 2014
For ages 6-9

Marvin and James are back! Intended for younger readers, these early chapter books are companions to the middle-grade mystery Masterpiece. The artistic beetle and the shy, observant boy embark on a new series of adventures that both test and deepen their friendship. In Book I, The Miniature World of Marvin and James, the Pompadays go away on vacation and Marvin worries that James will forget all about his beetle best friend back home. To keep busy, Marvin joins his cousin Elaine on an escapade that lands them both in serious trouble.  Hint: it involves an electric pencil sharpener!

• AN AMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH
 CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK OF 2014
 BANK STREET COLLEGE BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR, 2014

• A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION

 

“Elise Broach’s transitional reader about the stars of her longer novel Masterpiece is just right. It’s long enough for children to feel accomplished at its completion without feeling overwhelmed; it hits the right balance of text and illustrations; and it deals with a common dilemma that seven- and eight-year-olds face… This wise and funny book will provide much-needed reassurance to children.”
– 
Shelf Awareness

“Broach and Murphy bring back James and his beetle friend Marvin–previously seen in 2008’s acclaimed Masterpiece–in this first book in the Masterpiece Adventures series of chapter books. Their cross-species friendship is just right for the younger crowd, and so are the insecurities and frustrations Marvin is feeling… the story brims with both emotion and moments of quiet wisdom.”
– 
Publishers Weekly

“The dramatic, blow-by-blow pencil-sharpener incident dominates the story, but it circles back to friendship. James really did miss Marvin after all, and a souvenir seashell (the perfect beetle hideout!) seals the deal. This winsome series debut is both a sweet story of cross-species friendship and a sobering new way to look at pencil sharpeners.”
– Kirkus 

“New readers will be rewarded for the effort by this page-turning adventure, which is written throughout with emotional authenticity and illustrated with lively pen-and-ink illustrations in a brown and gray palette, ending with a very satisfying conclusion.”
– The Horn Book 

CLICK HERE FOR Curriculum Activity Guide