Tuesday Tea: The Sixty-Eight Rooms

Growing up in the Chicago area (before moving to Los Angeles when I was twelve), I definitely knew of the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Oh, did I know them!  I fell in love with those tiny historic interiors and imagined myself living in them. So when I found out that a middle grade novel called The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone featured a main character shrinking down and going into the Thorne Rooms, I was thrilled beyond belief.  My childhood fantasy come true!

The story of course takes place in Chicago with two 6th graders, Ruthie and Jack.  Ruthie is bored with her hum drum apartment, family, and life, and wonders why nothing exciting ever happens to her (my thoughts exactly when I was younger).  She really becomes attached to the Thorne Rooms, which are sixty-eight rooms created in the 1930s to represent the historic interiors of how people lived in the past in different parts of the world, from Europe to the Americas to Japan.  Ruthie begins to dream of what it would be like to live in those homes, especially inside an interior from 1700s Paris (one of my favorites at her age, too!)  After Ruthie discovers an antique key that magically makes her shrink whenever she holds it in her hand near the rooms, her adventure inside the miniature interiors truly begins.

The book really unlocked a lot of my inner childhood inside me, which is something I think a great middle grade should do.  I definitely recommend it.

And now, for the tea to accompany the Sixty-Eight Rooms, how about a mini-cuppa of Harney and Sons Paris, to go with Ruthie’s favorite Thorne Room!

Of course, one should not forget the treats that go with the tea as well.


More on other miniature rooms that I loved as a kid to come!  Happy Reading!

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