I just read Matisse on the Loose, a novel written by Georgia Bragg for readers 8-12. Matisse is an average 11-year-old boy with an embarrassingly UN-average family.
“My family is like the sun. It’s dangerous to look right at them. You have to look at them through a little hole in a box.
“For starters, Dad has his barbecue. It was specially made out of two oil drums welded together. Then Dad added the wheels with shock absorbers. It can hold a sixty-pound pig… He wheels it to pool parties, soccer games, and funerals—whatever—if someone’s paying him, he’ll be there.”
Matisse likes to kill time by forging the paintings hung in the museum where his mother works as head of security. His paintings look like the real thing, too real, so when he impulsively switches his painting with an original by Henri Matisse, he sets off a chain of problems that will take a genius–or a barbecue?–to resolve.
You’ll laugh at the predicaments Matisse gets himself into and smile as he “thinks” his way out of them.