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The Frame-Up
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The Frame-Up
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When Sargent Singer discovers that the paintings in his father's gallery are alive, he is pulled into a captivating world behind the frame that he never knew existed.Filled with shady characters,...
When Sargent Singer discovers that the paintings in his father's gallery are alive, he is pulled into a captivating world behind the frame that he never knew existed.Filled with shady characters,...
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Description-

  • When Sargent Singer discovers that the paintings in his father's gallery are alive, he is pulled into a captivating world behind the frame that he never knew existed.

    Filled with shady characters, devious plots, and a grand art heist, this inventive mystery-adventure celebrates art and artists and is perfect for fans of Night at the Museum and Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer.

    There's one important rule at the Beaverbrook Gallery—don't let anyone know the paintings are alive. Mona Dunn, forever frozen at thirteen when her portrait was painted by William Orpen, has just broken that rule. Luckily twelve-year-old Sargent Singer, an aspiring artist himself, is more interested in learning about the vast and intriguing world behind the frame than he is in sharing her secret.

    And when Mona and Sargent suspect shady dealings are happening behind the scenes at the gallery, they set out to find the culprit. They must find a way to save the gallery—and each other—before they are lost forever.

    With an imaginative setting, lots of intrigue, and a thoroughly engaging cast of characters, The Frame-Up will captivate readers of Jacqueline West's The Books of Elsewhere.

About the Author-

  • Wendy Mcleod MacKnight lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and wrote her debut novel at age nine. During her first career, she worked for the government of New Brunswick as the deputy minister of education, among other positions. She has been known to wander art galleries and have spirited conversations with the paintings—mostly in her head, though sometimes not. She hopes that readers will be inspired to create their own masterpieces and visit their own local art galleries. And even better, she hopes they'll come to Fredericton, visit the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and meet Mona and the rest of the characters in her book.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2018

    Gr 3-6-Inspired by the author's lifelong love of art and the moving portraits in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, this inventive fantasy gives a second life to its painted subjects. For the past 100 years, Mona Dunn has watched the world go by. Like the rest of the pieces at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, she is alive but only allowed to interact with the other painted inhabitants of the gallery. Communicating with the real world is strictly forbidden. These rules keep the gallery's secret safe but make life lonely and boring for the eternally 13-year-old Mona. So boring, that one afternoon she is caught recklessly moving in front of the gallery director's son, Sargent. Sargent's own loneliness prompts him to develop a friendship with Mona. Their mutual insecurity with peers is relatable despite the magical circumstances. Readers will delight in the canvas world that exists on the other side of the frame. Mona's gallery neighbors are equal parts quirky and endearing, while a sinister threat propels the plot forward. The book includes a full-color insert of the masterpieces referenced, which could be a great starting point for readers to imagine stories and worlds of their own. VERDICT Not just for art enthusiasts, this middle grade read paints fantasy, humor, and mystery into a satisfying tale about the power of friendship.-Sophie Kenney, Vernon Area Public Library District, IL

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2018
    A girl in a painting and a boy visiting the gallery she hangs in foil art thieves.Twelve-year-old Sargent Singer--named in honor of master painter John Singer Sargent--is visiting his partly estranged, emotionally volatile father, Isaac, in New Brunswick, Canada, for the summer. Isaac runs the top-tier Beaverbrook Art Gallery, which houses works by, among others, Thomas Gainsborough, Salvador Dalí, and Sargent's namesake. Mona Dunn, the other protagonist, is forever 13: William Orpen painted her portrait, Mona Dunn, in 1915, and since then she's been alive inside her painting. Unbeknownst to the public, Mona and the gallery's other painted subjects can jump from painting to painting, visiting one another and exploring the various paintings' landscapes. Sargent and Mona's friendship--begun when he catches her sticking out her tongue at obnoxious kids--features a poignant trip outdoors and conversation about each one's unique melancholy. With help, they also identify nefarious deeds (forgery? art theft?) and bravely thwart criminals. MacKnight entices with art critique and technique, although, sadly, readers never see artistic genius Sargent actually paint. In a mismatch to the emotional realism, villains are stereotypes--cartoonishly fat or lower-class. Some of the mechanics of life inside the frame are clear and others vague, but the ending's an unexpected bolt of perfect gratification. Everyone's white except one black friend, whom another friend refers to as intimidating. Color reproductions of relevant paintings are included in an insert.For anyone who's wondered about the people inside the frames. (gallery map, afterword) (Fantasy/mystery. 9-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 7, 2018
    While 12-year-old budding artist Sargent Singer (his name is an homage to artist John Singer Sargent) spends the summer with his father, the executive director of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Canada, he discovers a secret. After the subject of one portrait, 13-year-old Mona Dunn, sticks her tongue out at him, he learns that the figures in the gallery’s “world-class” paintings can come to life and can speak and travel between frames. Sargent forms a close friendship with Mona, but the most powerful relationship proves to be the nuanced, raw one between Sargent and his estranged father as they repair damage caused by divorce and distance. MacKnight (It’s a Mystery, Pig Face!) gives sly nods to similar uses of the living art idea, including those in the Harry Potter series and Night at the Museum. Explanations of art concepts and works can bog the narrative down a bit, but the gradual pacing and slow-building tension will help readers navigate the complexities of the central mysteries about disappearing art, a forgery scheme, and Sargent’s father’s work. Despite some uneven moments, this fantasy, supported by an inventive cast of characters, offers a compelling portrait of art and life. Ages 8–12. Agent: Lauren Galit, LKG Agency.

  • Wall Street Journal "[A] delicious tale...[a] clever, satisfying story for art-loving readers ages 11-14."
  • Booklist (starred review) "The mystery plot will keep readers guessing until near the end, but they will find other parts of the story even more involving...While Sargent and Mona are vividly portrayed, this chapter book's most memorable element is also its most unusual: the imaginative conviction that art is alive."
  • School Library Journal "Readers will delight in the canvas world that exists on the other side of the frame...Not just for art enthusiasts, this middle grade read paints fantasy, humor, and mystery into a satisfying tale about the power of friendship."
  • Kirkus Reviews "A girl in a painting and a boy visiting the gallery she hangs in foil art thieves. ...MacKnight entices with art critique and technique. ...For anyone who's wondered about the people inside the frames."

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