Behind the Canvas
Behind the Canvas
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Annotation: Seventh-grader Claudia Miravista loves art, but socially she is always the odd girl out--but on a trip to the local art museum she sees a boy in a painting, who moves from painting to painting, and soon she embarks on an adventure behind the canvas, determined to free the boy Pim from the artistic prison he has endured for over three hundred years.
Catalog Number: #118132
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 327 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-250-02970-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-250-02970-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015004150
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Claudia Miravista has always been a loner, so she doesn't mind being the only student without a partner for the class project at the art museum. She relates to paintings better, anyway, and she even has a one-sided conversation with a boy in the painting she is studying. But she's startled to see him in another painting, especially when he starts talking back. Trapped in a world of paint and canvas for centuries by an evil witch, the boy begs Claudia to help him escape. She doesn't think twice about rescuing her only real friend, but first she needs to find a way into his world. This well-paced mystery offers a pleasing protagonist and a very unusual setting. Vance cleverly injects the story with a bevy of secondary characters, many of whom readers will recognize from European paintings and popular art, and humorous footnotes from a fictional art-history textbook balance the tension. Themes of trust and loyalty figure prominently in this story, which explores what it means to be a true friend.
School Library Journal
Gr 58 Aiming to do for art history what Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" series (Disney-Hyperion) has done for Greek mythology, Vance's novel follows its 12-year-old protagonist, a budding artist named Claudia Miravista, into a world where famous artists and art iconography come to life as dynamic, idiosyncratic characters. When she unexpectedly spots a living boy, Pim, peering out from the background of a painting at the local museum, Claudia is unexpectedly drawn into both a friendship and an interdimensional conflict, which requires her to join Pim in a mysterious realm built by the imaginations of every major artist since the Renaissance. Initially bogged down by a great deal of explanatory setup (necessary to make such an abstract conceit stick), Vance's story flares to life when Claudia crosses into the canvas for the first time. Soon, she's trading gossip with the Mona Lisa , befriending one of C.M. Coolidge's poker-playing dogs, and running from a particularly frightening Max Ernst creationall to free Pim from the clutches of an evil artist-witch named Nee Gezicht. Helped along by tongue-in-cheek footnotes from a fictional art encyclopedia, adventurous readers will end up learning a great deal about art history along the way. VERDICT A conventional misfit-turned-hero tale elevated by an inspired concept. Abigail Garnett, Brooklyn Public Library
Voice of Youth Advocates
Claudia Miravista is a budding artist who lacks the ability to relate to students her own age. On a class field trip to a local art museum, Claudia becomes the odd man out after a group project assignment. After wandering through the museum alone to find a painting to study, Claudia finds a magical disappearing boy in Dutch artwork. This encounter allows Claudia to see beyond the surface into a magical world inside the paintings. It is in this magical realm that she meets Pim, a Dutch boy imprisoned in the world behind the canvas for centuries by a witch. Pim believes that Claudia is his only chance to escape and convinces her to enter the world behind the canvas to help set him free, along with the help of an ancient artist and magical goo made in a kitchen.Destroying the witch's most prized possession is the goal, and Claudia sets forth into an extraordinary and dangerous world where she begins to learn the meaning of courage, true friendship, and discerning between good and evil. With footnotes from a fictional encyclopedia, where parallels between Leonardo da Vinci and certain famous turtles are mentioned, and the wealth of information in the text as Claudia discusses famous and not so famous works of art, Behind the Canvas is a fresh take on blending fantasy with historical fiction and art history in a way that is extremely clever and refreshing.Stephanie Wilkes.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/15)
School Library Journal (12/1/15)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Word Count: 3,033
Reading Level: 4.2
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 156988 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.3 / points:17.0 / quiz:Q69004
Lexile: 690L

There is a world behind the canvas. Past the flat facade and the crackling paint is a realm where art lives, breathes, creates, and destroys. Claudia Miravista loves art but only sees what is on the surface--until the Dutch boy Pim appears in the painting in her room. Pim has been trapped in the world behind the canvas for centuries by a power-hungry witch, and he now believes that Claudia is his only hope for escape. Fueled by the help of an ancient artist and some microwaveable magic, Claudia enters the wondrous and terrifying world behind the canvas, intent on destroying the witch's most cherished possession and setting her new friend free. But in that world nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Not even friendship. Revel in the mystery and adventure of an alternate world where famous paintings come to life in Behind the Canvas by Alexander Vance


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