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Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking

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Edgar Award Finalist For fans of The Westing Game and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler comes a clever, treasure-hunt mystery based on a real-life art heist.   Moxie Fleece knows the rules and follows them--that is, until the day she opens her front door to a mysterious stranger. Suddenly Moxie is involved in Boston's biggest unsolved mystery: The Isabella Edgar Award Finalist For fans of The Westing Game and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler comes a clever, treasure-hunt mystery based on a real-life art heist.   Moxie Fleece knows the rules and follows them--that is, until the day she opens her front door to a mysterious stranger. Suddenly Moxie is involved in Boston's biggest unsolved mystery: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist. Moxie has two weeks to find the art, otherwise she and the people she loves will be in big-time danger. Her tools? Her best friend, Ollie, a geocaching addict who loves to find stuff; her Alzheimer's suffering grandfather, Grumps, who knows lots more than he lets on; and a geometry proof that she sets up to sort out the clues. It's a race against the clock through downtown Boston as Moxie and Ollie break every rule she's ever lived by to find the art and save her family.


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Edgar Award Finalist For fans of The Westing Game and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler comes a clever, treasure-hunt mystery based on a real-life art heist.   Moxie Fleece knows the rules and follows them--that is, until the day she opens her front door to a mysterious stranger. Suddenly Moxie is involved in Boston's biggest unsolved mystery: The Isabella Edgar Award Finalist For fans of The Westing Game and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler comes a clever, treasure-hunt mystery based on a real-life art heist.   Moxie Fleece knows the rules and follows them--that is, until the day she opens her front door to a mysterious stranger. Suddenly Moxie is involved in Boston's biggest unsolved mystery: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist. Moxie has two weeks to find the art, otherwise she and the people she loves will be in big-time danger. Her tools? Her best friend, Ollie, a geocaching addict who loves to find stuff; her Alzheimer's suffering grandfather, Grumps, who knows lots more than he lets on; and a geometry proof that she sets up to sort out the clues. It's a race against the clock through downtown Boston as Moxie and Ollie break every rule she's ever lived by to find the art and save her family.

30 review for Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alice in Readerland

    Originally posted on aliceinreaderland.com: Since this book involves a treasure hunt, I’ll be doing this review with “Map/GPS Direction” headers. Because, hey, why not? START HERE I can never resist a good mystery, or a good treasure hunt. So a book that combines both, as well as mentioning From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in it’s synopsis, was a sure-to-read for me! (Yes, I totally love From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I used to read it all the time and regr Originally posted on aliceinreaderland.com: Since this book involves a treasure hunt, I’ll be doing this review with “Map/GPS Direction” headers. Because, hey, why not? START HERE I can never resist a good mystery, or a good treasure hunt. So a book that combines both, as well as mentioning From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in it’s synopsis, was a sure-to-read for me! (Yes, I totally love From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I used to read it all the time and regret that I did not leave near a stunning museum that I could live in.) TURN RIGHT ON REALITY ROAD I love that this book is based on the real Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist, knowing the story is real, the descriptions of the museum, and even the author’s note in the back really bring a history to this book. I also loved the Boston setting; between the well-described (not to mention famous) places where the treasure was hidden and the history, this story really felt alive to me. TURN LEFT AT FAMILY LOYALTY Moxie has the really strong relationship with her Grandfather that I loved. She is so loyal and fierce to protect her family, and I loved seeing that in a book. It was really sweet and heartfelt, especially to me. I lost my Grandfather who I was really close to a few days before reading this book, and I’ve also dealt with Alzheimer’s in my family, so the emotions that Moxie was going through with being concerned over her Grandfather, and her descriptions of dealing with Alzheimer’s and the uncertainty of it, really touched me and felt genuine (as did the book’s dedication). CONTINUE ON GEOCASHING DRIVE I thought the geocashing aspect was really neat! I heard about geocashing once in passing, and I had never seen it in a book before, so I love how that’s incorporated a bit into the book and goes along with the treasure hunting theme. LOOK FOR YIELD SIGN AT CYNICAL CINDY SAYS I’ll admit it: Sometimes Moxie made me want to shake her and say “Look, Moxie, I know you’ve got a lot of, well, Moxie, but someone is threatening you. Please go tell someone other than your geocaching buddy.” But then again, if she did tell someone else, then I suppose we wouldn’t have this story–which would be a real shame. THE FINAL DESTINATION Filled with humor, hijinks, mystery, and of course, an awesome treasure hunt, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking would make a fun read! **See more reviews on ALICE IN READERLAND: aliceinreaderland.com**

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    This is a cute little mystery...and I liked it even more once I read the Author's Note and discovered that the Gardner Museum heist referenced in the book was a real crime--one that was never solved. Moxie is a fun narrator, and the mystery is intriguing and engaging without being scary. I like my mysteries with a bit more edge, but this is perfect for younger students looking for a not-so-terrifying mystery. This is a cute little mystery...and I liked it even more once I read the Author's Note and discovered that the Gardner Museum heist referenced in the book was a real crime--one that was never solved. Moxie is a fun narrator, and the mystery is intriguing and engaging without being scary. I like my mysteries with a bit more edge, but this is perfect for younger students looking for a not-so-terrifying mystery.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Norah Mathes

    I loved the big mystery and all the very exciting parts!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Moxie lives in Jamaica Plain near Boston with her mother and grandmother. Her grandfather, Grumps, is in a rest home because he has Alzheimers. When Moxie is approached by a red haired woman who gives her a message for her grandfather that Sully Cupcakes wants his stuff back. Grumps doesn’t have enough lucid days to give Moxie any clues; he just tells her that Sully is dangerous. Moxie and her friend Ollie have a great summer after 8th grade planned- they have been given train passes and permiss Moxie lives in Jamaica Plain near Boston with her mother and grandmother. Her grandfather, Grumps, is in a rest home because he has Alzheimers. When Moxie is approached by a red haired woman who gives her a message for her grandfather that Sully Cupcakes wants his stuff back. Grumps doesn’t have enough lucid days to give Moxie any clues; he just tells her that Sully is dangerous. Moxie and her friend Ollie have a great summer after 8th grade planned- they have been given train passes and permission to travel into Boston as long as they are together, and plan to go on lots of sightseeing trips. Moxie continues to be harassed by the red haired woman, however, so tries to figure out what “stuff” she is talking about. She eventually realizes that it is artwork that was stolen in March of 1990o from the Isabell Stewart Gardner museum, and finds out that her grandfather, a carpenter, did work for organized crime bosses and may have hidden the paintings in buildings that he helped to renovate. When Moxie and Ollie uncover some of the paintings in the state house attic, they know they are on to something. It’s dangerous, though, and when Ollie’s phone is answered by the red headed woman, Moxie fears he’s been kidnapped. This doesn’t stop her from uncovering other treasures, even when she has to call 911 to come and get some of them so that she can escape from the Old North Church with being attacked! Their quest takes them into the Green Monster and Fenway Stadium, as well as all over the city. Strengths: This is a book where the setting becomes a character in the book. I’ve only been to Boston once recently, but the details of the city are excellent and add a lot to the story. The theft is based on one that really occurred, but as it has not yet been solved, this story is all conjecture about what might have happened. Moxie is fun, and her need to explore on her own is tempered nicely by the concern shown by her mother and grandmother when she does. I do like this author’s other books and would be very happy if Moxie were to show up in another mystery book. Fans of Beil’s Red Blazer Girls will be glad to take their sleuthing skills to Boston. Weaknesses: Moxie behaves in ways that would be very dangerous in real life, and this gave me a little pause. The red headed woman was super creepy and dangerous.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie Williams

    Moxie has always known her grandfather “Grumps” was in “the business” but when an old associate comes looking around for some missing items she finds out just how involved he was. Moxie has 14 days to locate the missing items…or else. Unfortunately, Grumps has Alzheimer’s and can’t help her out. Using her skills as a mathematician and with the help of her best friend, Ollie she investigates the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist and the role her grandfather played. Moxie’s investigation take Moxie has always known her grandfather “Grumps” was in “the business” but when an old associate comes looking around for some missing items she finds out just how involved he was. Moxie has 14 days to locate the missing items…or else. Unfortunately, Grumps has Alzheimer’s and can’t help her out. Using her skills as a mathematician and with the help of her best friend, Ollie she investigates the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist and the role her grandfather played. Moxie’s investigation takes her to the State House, the Old North Church, and Fenway. There is a lot to love about this mystery, especially for New England readers familiar with the setting. I really enjoyed this book. It helped that I have been to Boston several times and know the locations in the book. I thought the author did a good job of integrating Boston culture and history with a famous art museum mystery. The only thing that was weird to me was that Moxie was entering high school. She didn’t seem that old and I felt like her character could have been younger considering how she acted and the reading level of the book. I don’t see this book as being popular with the high school crowd but rather with grade 4-6.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brandy Painter

    I usually enjoy Erin Dionne's books more than I did this one. I think my disappointment was magnified because I had my hopes rather high for this one and was mostly unimpressed. I can see kids loving it though. It has that sort of kid adventure movie feel to it. Kids versus the mobsters, and the kids actually have a chance of winning. The danger never materializes quite like it would in reality. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I could have liked Moxie herself, but I was rolling my eyes b I usually enjoy Erin Dionne's books more than I did this one. I think my disappointment was magnified because I had my hopes rather high for this one and was mostly unimpressed. I can see kids loving it though. It has that sort of kid adventure movie feel to it. Kids versus the mobsters, and the kids actually have a chance of winning. The danger never materializes quite like it would in reality. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I could have liked Moxie herself, but I was rolling my eyes by the end of the first chapter. I'm so tired of main characters who are supposed to be unique and special because they like older music and buy vintage clothes. This is so overused that there is nothing unique or special about these characters. It feels like slapping a vintage t-shirt on a character and giving her a playlist her parents would have listened to are acceptable replacements for actual character development. I do like that she was a Math lover though.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ellicia

    Calling this book delightful, enjoyable, and satisfying doesn’t feel fair towards the book. Reading about Moxie Fleece and how she follows the rules that is, until the day she opens her front door to a mysterious stranger. If I were to focus on one other character than Moxie, it would be her best friend, Ollie, a geocaching addict who loves to find stuff. Moxie and Ollie did everything together, from homework to bad sci-fi movies, considering the fact that they’ve been friends since second grade Calling this book delightful, enjoyable, and satisfying doesn’t feel fair towards the book. Reading about Moxie Fleece and how she follows the rules that is, until the day she opens her front door to a mysterious stranger. If I were to focus on one other character than Moxie, it would be her best friend, Ollie, a geocaching addict who loves to find stuff. Moxie and Ollie did everything together, from homework to bad sci-fi movies, considering the fact that they’ve been friends since second grade. I guess you can say that they were meant for each other. If you’re looking for a book that makes your heart race against the clock, this is the one. I couldn’t solely turn this book down without taking an adventure through downtown Boston as Moxie and Ollie break every rule to find the art.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    I was pleasantly surprised to find that this story was historical fiction -- sort of. I loved that it was based on a real robbery in Boston and that the setting of the story was centered around places I've visited before. The relationship with Moxie and her grandparents, especially her Alzheimer's-stricken grandfather, was sweet. Other than that, I was a little disappointed in the predictability of the events and the characters. Still, it was a good story. I could see my 8th graders who enjoy my I was pleasantly surprised to find that this story was historical fiction -- sort of. I loved that it was based on a real robbery in Boston and that the setting of the story was centered around places I've visited before. The relationship with Moxie and her grandparents, especially her Alzheimer's-stricken grandfather, was sweet. Other than that, I was a little disappointed in the predictability of the events and the characters. Still, it was a good story. I could see my 8th graders who enjoy mysteries enjoying the book. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the book to them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dramapuppy

    There are many ways to handle the issue of parental permission in books that require children to do a lot of dangerous tasks, such as mystery solving. Sometimes, the parents are conveniently absent on some kind of vacation, or mentally absent due to a demanding job. This is sad but effective. Another option is parents that know about and endorse the dangerous activity. Perhaps they even participate and become fully fledged characters. This is often unrealistic, but can create the most entertaini There are many ways to handle the issue of parental permission in books that require children to do a lot of dangerous tasks, such as mystery solving. Sometimes, the parents are conveniently absent on some kind of vacation, or mentally absent due to a demanding job. This is sad but effective. Another option is parents that know about and endorse the dangerous activity. Perhaps they even participate and become fully fledged characters. This is often unrealistic, but can create the most entertaining stories. This book chooses the third option, which is, the parents are totally normal, thus forcing the young protagonist to constantly sneak around them. This is my least favorite way to solve the problem because I did not want to read a book about the main character climbing out a window so she doesn't get grounded. I wanted to read a book about the main character solving a mystery so her family is safe. In addition to adding a bunch of filler obstacles, this dynamic really enforced how awful Moxie's decisions were. I couldn't root for her to successfully sneak around her unfair mom because her mom was completely fair. Moxie was endangering herself and she shouldn't have been. I actually wished her mom was more strict-- regardless of her age, Moxie clearly wasn't mature enough to be wandering the city on her own. She immediately used the privilege to more effectively endanger her own life! I usually give children's books the benefit of the doubt for stuff like this, though, because it's not the book's fault I decided to read it as an adult. But then Moxie's decision making got even worse. (view spoiler)[I could kind of forgive her endangering herself by not telling any adults she was being threatened because she wanted to solve the problem herself. Bad call but I can kind of get it, and it's her own choice to make, I guess. But then she has reason to believe her friend has been kidnapped and is currently being held against his will and she still tells no one?? It was her responsibility to get adults involved at that point. She never should have brought him into this in the first place, but I can't believe she let her pride get in the way of his safety once she 'knew' he was in critical danger. (hide spoiler)] That goes beyond normal bad decision-making. That's just an awful thing to do. I probably won't be reading the sequel to this.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Deinstadt

    Moxie Fleece had no idea what sort of secrets her family had been hiding, until the biggest secret was standing on her doorstep. The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum art heist, Boston's biggest unsolved mystery. Moxie along side her best friend Ollie, would be breaking every rule she had ever been told to follow in order keep her loved ones from danger and to find the missing art pieces. However, Moxie's grandfather suffering from Alzheimer's knew much about the art heist, but couldn't tell Moxi Moxie Fleece had no idea what sort of secrets her family had been hiding, until the biggest secret was standing on her doorstep. The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum art heist, Boston's biggest unsolved mystery. Moxie along side her best friend Ollie, would be breaking every rule she had ever been told to follow in order keep her loved ones from danger and to find the missing art pieces. However, Moxie's grandfather suffering from Alzheimer's knew much about the art heist, but couldn't tell Moxie. Ollie's love for geocaching would come in great use for completing the dangerous task. Moxie only had a two week time frame to find the missing art and save her family, all while breaking every rule she had ever known. I really loved this book! Personally, I couldn't get over how well the author was able to put a fictional twist on a such a well known real scenario. I was also able to connect to many aspects of Moxie's life, which made the story more interesting. In addition, I enjoyed that this story described many of Boston's famous features and I was able to clearly visualize them as I read. This story was mysterious and intriguing the whole way through. I loved that at times I found myself unable to put the book down because I just had to keep reading. I would suggest this book to anyone who likes mysteries and is looking for an overall good read. This book was truly great and definitely worth the read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Fabiano

    Moxie has just discovered that her Grandfather helped thieves hide the art work stolen during the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist. The problem is, the thieves want it back and her Grandfather has Alzheimer's. Thus it is up to her to find it fast or her family will be in big trouble. With the help of her geocaching loving friend, Ollie, she is determined to solve the mystery. This suspenseful ride through some of Boston's most famous landmarks, makes for a fun read. Moxie has just discovered that her Grandfather helped thieves hide the art work stolen during the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist. The problem is, the thieves want it back and her Grandfather has Alzheimer's. Thus it is up to her to find it fast or her family will be in big trouble. With the help of her geocaching loving friend, Ollie, she is determined to solve the mystery. This suspenseful ride through some of Boston's most famous landmarks, makes for a fun read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nora

    Loved the friendship of Moxie and Ollie, and the teamwork. It was a bit far-fetched at times and adults may find themselves yelling at the book, "Moxie, tell your mother what is going on!" like I did... but it was a fun mystery and the Boston setting added to the adventure. I will recommend to 5th-8th graders for a good mystery. Loved the friendship of Moxie and Ollie, and the teamwork. It was a bit far-fetched at times and adults may find themselves yelling at the book, "Moxie, tell your mother what is going on!" like I did... but it was a fun mystery and the Boston setting added to the adventure. I will recommend to 5th-8th graders for a good mystery.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Norrie ☔️

    The plot and ideas were really good, but I was not very impressed with the writing. It was not very descriptive and a little bit TOO much like a teenager, like how she has a lot of weird words and one-word sentences. Not really the best way to write a book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    I didn’t realize this was a young adult fiction book when I grabbed it from a free little library, but once I started I figured I’d finish it anyway. A cute if not juvenile story about two best friends searching for stolen art.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    This was a let down. I heard good things, but it disappointed.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kaylin

    Loved this book. It's really hard to find mystery books for kids in middle school and I am so glad I found this. I recommend this 100 %. Loved this book. It's really hard to find mystery books for kids in middle school and I am so glad I found this. I recommend this 100 %.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Oliver James

    Pretty good read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Terrific Bostonian adventure - a firecracker lead character, snappy writing and an excellent puzzle that's exciting all the way through. Terrific Bostonian adventure - a firecracker lead character, snappy writing and an excellent puzzle that's exciting all the way through.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amalia

    It was a good book from what I can tell from the cover so I want to read it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dixie Lynne

    I DNF'ed this book. I just did not enjoy the plotline. I couldn't get attached to the book. I DNF'ed this book. I just did not enjoy the plotline. I couldn't get attached to the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dakota

    It's kind of slow in the beginning, but the story is really interesting and in the middle of the book I couldn't stop reading. The story is so touching and I really enjoyed it. It's kind of slow in the beginning, but the story is really interesting and in the middle of the book I couldn't stop reading. The story is so touching and I really enjoyed it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Allen

    Good mystery!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Safa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ITS A GOOD BOOK

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sonia

    this book is soooo good i love books where they liked run away and stuff so this one was great so exciting and fun

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth C

    February Book Review Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne is an adventurous and mysterious novel. Moxie, the main character, is surprised with a ringing doorbell at her house. Unconditionally, she answered it and a red-headed woman shocked the 14-year-old. She asked for her grandfather, Grumps, who had alzheimer's. He was at a memory care center in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. With a little attitude, Moxie closed the door and the red-head put a foot on the doorway. She said she w February Book Review Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne is an adventurous and mysterious novel. Moxie, the main character, is surprised with a ringing doorbell at her house. Unconditionally, she answered it and a red-headed woman shocked the 14-year-old. She asked for her grandfather, Grumps, who had alzheimer's. He was at a memory care center in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. With a little attitude, Moxie closed the door and the red-head put a foot on the doorway. She said she was working for Sully Cupcakes. This was a well-written book. I think the theme of the book is expect the unexpected. Moxie was not expecting that ringing doorbell especially the red-head. Also, I did not expect Moxie to get a lot of injuries in the mystery. She didn't expect that Grumps had an unique past and her family knew about it and didn't tell her. Overall, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking is a phenomenal book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Now that I've read Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, I can fully appreciate this adorable cover, because it fully captures this book. The only inaccurate part is that Moxie's best friend Ollie is Asian (though I guess this guy could be) and overweight, which I definitely do not think he is. However, the items in purple are part of the plot and that is exactly how Moxie dresses, crazy tights and all. If you could see her from the front, she'd be wearing a concert shirt for sure. Like the cover Now that I've read Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, I can fully appreciate this adorable cover, because it fully captures this book. The only inaccurate part is that Moxie's best friend Ollie is Asian (though I guess this guy could be) and overweight, which I definitely do not think he is. However, the items in purple are part of the plot and that is exactly how Moxie dresses, crazy tights and all. If you could see her from the front, she'd be wearing a concert shirt for sure. Like the cover suggests, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking is a fun, action-packed middle grade novel with plenty of hijinks. As her name suggests, Moxie has a lot of spirit, courageous and determined. The novel opens with the doorbell ringing. Though she's not supposed to open the door to strangers, she does without thinking. A redheaded woman stands on the doorstep, asking after her grandfather, who now lives in an old folks' home, as Alzheimer's slowly takes his memories. Because this woman is dressed in weather-inappropriate clothing and because of her grandpa's past, Moxie sends the woman away, nervous about the woman's declaration that Sully Cupcakes, notorious mobster wants his stuff back. Moxie's grandfather, affectionally known as Grumps, had a bit of a shady history. He had ties with the mob and worked with the criminal underbelly of the city. His job as a carpenter gave him access to a lot of places and made him a good way to launder money. Up til now, Grumps' criminal past has been just stories, but now Moxie really has to confront who he was and the impact of his shady dealings. The relationship between Grumps and Moxie is touching, especially the way she visits him every week, even though it's painful the way he sometimes isn't there mentally. Together with her allergy-prone friend Ollie, Moxie has to solve the mystery of an art heist that took place over 20 years ago in 1990 (wow, does that make me feel old) in two weeks. Along the way, there's some fun with geocaching, daring stunts, and parental disapproval. There are themes of family and friendship making up the backdrop, but the mystery and adventure elements take a front seat. Though a fun read, I did have some concerns with Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking. Mainly, the fact that it was Moxie caught up in the middle of this felt contrived. Why on earth would the redhead go to Moxie, an eighth grader, rather than her mother or grandmother, who are much more likely to know where the art is hidden? A grown woman threatening an eighth grader in this way was awkward. I could see an evildoer threatening someone so young, but more as motivation for an adult to do something, not to get the young teen to solve the decades old mystery. Plus, the redhead didn't even warn Moxie not to tell anyone, so it's not like she went to the kid because the adults would call the authorities. That just didn't make sense to me. Those who enjoy light-hearted, action-heavy mysteries will likely enjoy Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, particularly if they can avoid getting caught up in some of the smaller plot details. Also of note is that there is a lot of exploration of Boston, so it'll be a great read for anyone really familiar with the city.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Dionne’s latest novel, a mystery surrounding the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum art heist. Although the story is fictional, the timing of the release is superb, coinciding with the real heist ‘s reemergence in the news after the theft in 1990 (the FBI has recently claimed they know the people responsible). Anyway, back to the story. Moxie is a rule-follower who is excels in math and appreciates its consistency: “No matter what you do—how many plus I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Dionne’s latest novel, a mystery surrounding the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum art heist. Although the story is fictional, the timing of the release is superb, coinciding with the real heist ‘s reemergence in the news after the theft in 1990 (the FBI has recently claimed they know the people responsible). Anyway, back to the story. Moxie is a rule-follower who is excels in math and appreciates its consistency: “No matter what you do—how many plus or minus signs you add, transitive properties you include, or formulas you apply—the numbers are what they are.” Too bad life wasn’t always that reliable. Moxie’s grandfather “Grumps” is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and has his good and bad days. Moxie and her best friend Ollie will be attending different high schools in the fall, so Moxie is looking forward to one last summer hanging out with him. Before the summer can even begin, a beautiful redheaded woman knocks on Moxie’s door and demands to speak to her grandfather, saying “Sully Cupcakes wants his items back…By the fourth. Or else he’ll take something of equal…or lesser value.” Moxie is pretty sure she was considered the item of lesser value, judging from the sneer on the woman’s face. So much for the relaxing summer she planned. Moxie understands that Grumps’ former life was not so angelic. He worked with criminals and often helped them hide their loot. That life was in the past for him, and he and Moxie are very close. She wants to ask him about this deal with Sully Cupcakes, but with his Alzheimer’s, will he even remember? Moxie only trusts Ollie with the redhead’s visit, and they decide to work together to see what they can find out. With Moxie’s problem solving skills and Ollie’s proficiency at finding stuff (he is big into geocaching and notices everything), they set out into the city of Boston to investigate. And hopefully, she can save her own butt in the process. The reader is totally immersed in the culture of Boston and its landmarks, music, and history. It made me want to hop on the T and take a ride on the Swan Boats, tour the sites on the Freedom Trail, and maybe catch a Sox game at Fenway Park. It’s all in there, from the Boston accents to the great Boston musicians (Aerosmith, The Standells, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, etc.). You gotta love a character who blasts The Dropkick Murphys’ “Shippin’ Up to Boston” while trying to put the pieces of this puzzle together. Anyone who enjoys a good mystery will be caught up in Moxie’s and Ollie’s adventures, and anyone who enjoys reading about the local flavors of Boston will feel right at home. I recommend for grades 5 and up.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Smith

    The book "Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking" by Erin Dionne follows around a girl named Moxie in a quest to find priceless pieces of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Moxie's grandfather, now suffering from Alzheimer's, was a criminal in his younger days. Moxie believes he might have hidden the art stolen in the infamous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist after being menacingly confronted by a criminal who wants the paintings "back." Moxie looks for clues and ignores both her The book "Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking" by Erin Dionne follows around a girl named Moxie in a quest to find priceless pieces of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Moxie's grandfather, now suffering from Alzheimer's, was a criminal in his younger days. Moxie believes he might have hidden the art stolen in the infamous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist after being menacingly confronted by a criminal who wants the paintings "back." Moxie looks for clues and ignores both her mom's rules and the law's with her best friend Ollie while trying to find the art quickly, so that the criminals don't hurt her family. She must do this without adult help as her grandpa does not remember the fine details of the heist and she doesn't want her mom or grandmother to get hurt. But, while searching for the pieces, questions keep running through her mind about what she should do with the art if she finds it. Should she turn it into the museum? Should she turn it into the "bad guys"? I thought that the book was too quick-paced. I understand that there was a time limit; she had to find and give the criminals the art in a matter of days, but I feel like the author could have expanded on Moxie's thought process. Which leads into my next point: There were too many "aha" moments for Moxie and Ollie. Suddenly they realized where a piece of art must be hidden. This was really unrealistic. Also, Ollie just happened to be into finding the places of hidden things and was really good at it. That was just too much of a great coincidence for me to get around. Despite all of these issues, I really liked both Moxie and Ollie. Moxie was very persistent and I loved how she tried not to let the threats of the criminals get to her. Moxie is very nice, but she did not seem old enough to be entering high school. Normally, I would think it stupid that Moxie didn't tell her mom about the situation. However, in this book, hiding the truth from her mom added another interesting aspect of the stealth that Moxie needed. Ollie was undeniably loyal and it was nice to have a character that helped Moxie think before acting and making stupid decisions that would have led to the downfall of the book. Overall, I'd rate this book a 4/5 stars!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rhiannon

    This book is a mystery about a young girl who wants the best summer ever with her best friend Ollie but her grandfather who has Alzheimer's past is getting in the way. Moxie and Ollie are getting ready to graduate junior high and will be going to separate high schools and they know that once they start they will be sucked into their new social life and friends. As the school year comes to an end Ollie and Moxies parents decide to give them some freedom they both get a T(card subway card) that al This book is a mystery about a young girl who wants the best summer ever with her best friend Ollie but her grandfather who has Alzheimer's past is getting in the way. Moxie and Ollie are getting ready to graduate junior high and will be going to separate high schools and they know that once they start they will be sucked into their new social life and friends. As the school year comes to an end Ollie and Moxies parents decide to give them some freedom they both get a T(card subway card) that already has $45 dollars onto them they are both allowed to go into Boston but have to have a peer with them and if they are caught going into Boston without a peer they will get their T card taken away plus other punishments. Once the school year is over they are allowed to do anything they want until everything changed when she made the mistake of opening the door before looking through the peep hole. Moxie was upstairs in her room when she heard a pounding on the door. When she opened the door thinking it was her mom a tall skinny red haired women in all black and Moxie was stunned. The women was very curious where Moxie’s grandfather was when she didn't reply to her other than a “I don't know” the girl got up in her face and told her he had until July 4 to return Sully's stuff. Moxie didn’t want to bring it up to her grandma or mother because she didn't want to put them in danger so she goes back up stairs and does some research on who ever sully is. Now she already knew about her grandpa's past because he was very open about it ever since she was young but what she figured out about who Sully was she couldn't believe her grandpa would have anything to do with this man so she calls up Ollie and tells him out their changes of plans for the summer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Moxie Fleece is looking forward to "the best summer ever" with her best friend Ollie. They will be starting different high schools in the fall and this is the last chance they will have to spend a lot of time together. One morning she opens the door, thinking it is her mother, and finds a red-head woman who tells Moxie that Sully Cupcakes wants his stuff back or else. Moxie's grandpa, Grumps, used to be in the business. He would hide stuff for local criminals. Grumps has Alzheimer's now and live Moxie Fleece is looking forward to "the best summer ever" with her best friend Ollie. They will be starting different high schools in the fall and this is the last chance they will have to spend a lot of time together. One morning she opens the door, thinking it is her mother, and finds a red-head woman who tells Moxie that Sully Cupcakes wants his stuff back or else. Moxie's grandpa, Grumps, used to be in the business. He would hide stuff for local criminals. Grumps has Alzheimer's now and lives in a nursing home. He has his good days and his bad days, but he still won't talk to Moxie about Sully Cupcakes. Moxie has 14 days to figure out what Grumps hid and where he hid it. Moxie and Ollie set off on a geo-chaching, mystery tour. They discover that Sully Cupcakes stole 12 items from the Sally Gardner Museum and Grumps hid them around Boston in places where he was working. Their hunt takes them to the State House, Trinity Church and the Green Monster itself (Fenway Park). The red-head dogs their steps all the way, but Moxie is determined to find the art and make sure her family stays safe. I really enjoyed this mystery. Moxie and Ollie are smart and resourceful and adventurous. Sure there were times when I really wanted them to be a little smarter and tell an adult what was going on, but that would have ruined the story. I enjoyed the fact that the mystery was based on a true crime. The Sally Gardner Museum was really robbed in March 1990, but the art has never been found. I also really enjoyed Moxie's relationship with Grumps. I thought the depiction of Alzheimer's was really well done and realistic. This is definitely a book I would recommend to kids. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

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