What are the main ideas in the novel, the sixty eight rooms?

Expert Answers
mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Sixty Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone is about two sixth graders. Ruthie and Jack are sixth graders, who while on a field trip, discover a magical key. They are on a field trip to The Thorne Rooms in the Art Institute of Chicago. The Thorne Rooms are a group of 68 rooms that each house miniature creations from different periods in history. This magical key has the ability to shrink Ruthie and Jack, so they can go into the rooms and explore. Some of the main themes in the story are friendship, adversity and death. 

Some of the ideas in the novel are the friendship between Ruthie and Jack. They have a great adventure, while they are both dealing with real problems in their own lives. The mystery of the rooms helps the kids to think about something other than what is going on at home. They can escape into their fantasy world for awhile. Jack faces some adversity with his mother at home. Ruthie faces adversity with her sister and has to deal with the issue of death.

Overall The Sixty Eight Rooms is a story about imagination. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself with a magical key? How would use this gift? Marianne Malone tells a great story using a real place and weaving history, art and magic together for a fun story. 

thewanderlust878 | Student

The Sixty Eight Rooms is a wonderful children's book about two best friends and their adventure through the sixty eight rooms. It is based off of the Art Institute of Chicago's Thorne Rooms. Ruthie and Jack find a magical vintage key that takes them on a whimsical journey through different periods of history. One of the main ideas commonly expressed in the novel is the idea that learning can be interesting. As a children's book, the author tries to express how discovering and learning about history can be both fun and definitely worthwhile.