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The Gallery

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  2,348 ratings  ·  454 reviews
An historical art mystery set in the Roaring Twenties!

It’s 1929, and twelve-year-old Martha has no choice but to work as a maid in the New York City mansion of the wealthy Sewell family. But, despite the Gatsby-like parties and trimmings of success, she suspects something might be deeply wrong in the household—specifically with Rose Sewell, the formerly vivacious lady of t
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Dial Books
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Giyogiyo The authors of paintings often try to hide some very important details in them that can affect the perception of the picture. Personally, I often came…moreThe authors of paintings often try to hide some very important details in them that can affect the perception of the picture. Personally, I often came across this when I looked through the paintings at
Here I found many mysterious paintings, in which the authors put some secret meaning, hidden details that are very important in order to understand the whole essence of the picture!(less)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  2,348 ratings  ·  454 reviews

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Wendy Darling
Putting this audiobook on hold 8 chapters in.

I like the story, and I usually really like Jorjeana Marie's narration, but I find the broad, exaggerated accent she's doing for this 1920s book too distracting. I keep picturing a little girl playing dressup/make-believe imitating gangster/mob movies. :/ I guess I'll try to get ahold of the book eventually...
Renee Hale
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this advanced readers copy at ALA Midwinter in Boston.

I adored this book! I don't read a lot of middle grade and was hesitant to pick The Gallery up. What made me give it a chance?

1. It's set in 1929 - a FUN time period to read about
2. It revolves around service - I love books about service, I find it fascinating
3. Martha is plucky - the way she forgets she is in service and can't talk to people the way she does
4. It didn't read like a middle grade book - what I mean by that is the
Cindy Burnett
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Set in the late 1920’s, The Gallery is a fast-moving, highly entertaining read that is a combination of historical fiction and gothic mystery. Expelled from school at age 12, Martha goes to work in the Sewell mansion alongside her mother. The longer Martha works at the 5th Avenue mansion, the more Martha begins to suspect that everything is not as it seems at the Sewell household. Meanwhile, she discovers that paintings in the Sewell’s gallery contain messages that someone is hoping Mar
Vikki VanSickle
1928, Brooklyn. Martha is the daughter of a housekeeper who has started working in the home of newspaper magnate Mr. Sewell. Martha accompanies her mother only to get caught up in a mystery surrounding his wife, Rose. In her youth Rose was a charming party girl, but now she spends her days ranting and raving about paintings in a locked bedroom. What happened to Rose? Why is she obsessed with the paintings? And who is leaking stories about the Sewells- some of them untrue- to the tabloids?

From th
Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it

The late 1920s setting of this book was the shining star. I loved Fitzgerald’s details, especially those that are particularly clever in retrospect. In addition to history (1929 stock crash, Sacco and Vanzetti), there are a lot of art and mythology references.
The book is well-crafted and well-researched and serves as a great introduction for middle-grade readers; I think it will inspire readers to do outside research as well.

“Hasn’t the world always been full of monsters and lies? Isn’t
This is a book that I would have loved as a middle-grade reader, and it would be an excellent choice for any younger readers who enjoy historical fiction grounded in strong, detailed settings. I would have written a derivative fanfic of this book if I had read it when I was 10. It has everything you could possibly want: a plucky teenage heroine! A romantic, rich recluse! Very obvious references to the New York City of 1929 (including (view spoiler) ...more
I listened to this on audio (mostly doing a puzzle) and honestly I'm not sure if I would have finished the book if I'd read it as an ebook. Because the book felt very slow - except the 1920's ending which felt rushed(, illogical) and yet very satisfying.
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
So.....while I liked the mystery central to the book...I took issue with several things which influenced my overall opinion of just two stars.....

First off, AUTHORS! DON'T EVER SPOIL A CLASSIC NOVEL BY REVEALING ITS SECRETS! EVER!!!! Especially when that novel happens to be the greatest novel written in the English language: Jane Eyre. Why, why WHY, in a book for young people would you give that away? You've ruined their experience for that (in this case, very delicious!) novel when they pick it
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This was SUCH A FUN READ!!! this book, the theme, atmosphere is right up my alley! I just loved it!! I loved the story so much that it makes me feel sad the fact that the ending was so anticlimactic and abrupt! it was almost like the author got tired of writing and decided to end it right away regardless of what was the story about and how creative unique the entire thing is, except for the ending of course.
I love the mixture of art, and the way the main characters uses it as a form of communic
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This one took my 11-year-old and I a very long time to get through.

Very interesting time period and we enjoyed looking at the art pieces online while they were being described by Martha as she unraveled the mystery and clues from Rose.

The end seemed rushed and we both found it confusing. Just seemed unsettled.

Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it

I read this for Middle Grade March and this was a fun read. I feel like my perspective is a little skewed since I'm not middle grade (lol), but was pleasantly surprised by how 'readable' it was as an adult.

Set in 1928/1929 , this book follows 12-year old Martha, who works as a maid in Manhattan (nothing like the J.Lo movie) for the very wealthy, very fancy Sewell mansion. Martha's mother is the head of housekeeping and when Martha gets the boot from her Catholic school her mom quickly puts he
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Engaging and clever story. I am always a fan of a good art mystery book. This is middle grade reading that doesn't talk down to the younger set. We need more books like this one.
a reluctant 3 stars

There are jars of molasses faster than this plot.

Nonetheless, I absolutely adored the author's note. In an odd way, I think it's inspired me to exert more effort to live and learn willingly instead of merely existing.

A Quote That Stood Out to Me:
"Hasn't the world always been full of monsters and lies? Isn't it our place to fight them, to tell the truth, to rewrite the story? To ensure the return of spring in a world of winter?

In hindsight, I think this felt slow and took me
Kaylin Evans
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I cannot figure out who's supposed to be the target audience for this book. Hell, I couldn't even nail down the age of the main character.

In the audiobook version, the narrator gives Martha a very young voice and a lot of her actions and words match this, making her seem to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-9 years old. The opening scene, however, has her lying about her menses, putting her around 12-ish (which I'm pretty sure is her real age), and later in the book she has a pretty deep kno
C.J. Milbrandt
Historical, set in 1929 New York. My, how times have changed. I found myself cringing every time Mr. Sewell opened his mouth. His self-important, era-honest attitudes toward women, immigrants, religion, servants, politics, and the general populace are ... rather infuriating. I'm sure others readers will be as eager as I was for him to get some form of comeuppance.

Martha, the main character, is certainly no angel. A glib liar, an irreverent sass, an unapologetic shirker, and a fearless meddler—h
Ms. Yingling
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Love the cover, and this sounds really fantastic, but as much as I enjoy reading about the 1920s, even I couldn't get into this. Historical fiction is so hard to get my students to read, so I will pass. This author's Under the Egg is one I enjoyed, but none of my students will pick it up.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A fun little book (written for middle grade readers) that incorporates not only art history, but real life people from the 1920s. I can't wait for my 6th grader to read it. I'm crossing my fingers she'll want to search for the paintings online.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I found this story to be far less engaging and personable than her last. Disappointed.
This story was an absolute delight and I loved every minute of it!

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the description of this book, but my library had it as an audio book, it wasn't that long and it sounded intriguing so I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did! This story has a number of things I enjoy, first and foremost a strong female protagonist.

And what a strong female young Martha O'Doyle - our narrator for this story - is! Even though she is "just" an Irish housemaid in the home
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a sweet, if slight, middle-grade book with some historical context that was fun to read about. I liked the protagonist, Martha, but felt like the book would have been vastly better if there had been more interaction with the mysterious woman of the story, Rose, the "madwoman" sequestered in the attic. The 1920s setting was fun, and I enjoyed learning more about the Irish working classes and the rich titans of industry, but the main reason for which I picked the book up—the gallery, whic ...more
Lauren Hillman
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I wrote a super long detailed review that failed to upload and am way too annoyed to write it all again.


3.5 stars

Good writing, good story but I didn't connect to it much.

I was super into Rose but she wasn't in enough scenes for me! Give me a whole book on Wild Rose.

Lots of things to like but mainly left me with a feeling of despair and hopelessness over how little progress society has made (regarding our impulse to call women crazy, irrational, over dramatic, etc AND allowing news me
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read the book, didn’t listen to audio-don’t know if I’d like the accents.
Historical fiction with a mystery, first set in 2016, then the majority set in 1928/1929.
It takes while to build, but the book does have a lot of descriptions that make it seem very real in my imagination. Believable plot, no, fun read once you get to the climax and ending, yes.
Cathy | A Case Full of Books
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, boy. I'm a sucker for mysteries where the children are more competent than the adults! Take this one, set in 1920's New York, and it's even more delightful!

Full of fascinating art, a stubborn 12-year-old housemaid, a lady who is locked away to keep the world safe from her crazy outbursts, and a charming newspaper tycoon, this book was everything I could ask for in a middle grade mystery!

(and that cover! 😍)
Lucy King
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How much I enjoyed this one. I am very surprised. I did not know what to expect from this story. It was so funny and etertaining. Martha was a great character and Rose and her story and how she managed to get Martha to discover the paintings and the clues to help, I loved it. I devoured the story in two evenings. After so many fantasy stories I´ve read this year it was very nice to read something from real life, real history.
Do not feel discouraged to read this if you see the middle grade tag an
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure about this book, but is it just me or I think that this plot is a bit dragging and boring?
I tried to read through the end, but I just wanted to DNF it, so I decided to just skip and go through the end, which is not a good thing, but anyway.
Maybe I'll find my way back to this book again.
Laura Ferrin
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was so refreshing to read a historical fiction book as opposed to my usual fantasy. Martha and Rose were great examples of independent women and I loved the mystery. Fun setting and a great cast of characters. I'll have to check out more from this author.
Emma Sonck
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best middle grade books I've ever read. It's amazing. Love the story and love the writing. It's perfect.
Selah Pike
If I’d been listening to this alone, I would’ve DNF pretty quickly, but my kids were enjoying it. The story does not live up to the beautiful cover. Yawn.
Brittany (brittany.and.the.beast)
3.5 stars
A fun, solid read!
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