The book is like a giant logic puzzle basically. The basic storyline is this: 30 paintings from the Museum of Art have been stolen and replaced with fakes. Using a magnifying glass, you have to carefully compare photos of the originals with the pictures of paintings in the museum. 4 rival gangs have done the crimes - use clues well hidden in each painting to reveal who did what.
For my class - I pretended my friend was the museum security guard & explained the situation. They need US to solve this case because if they go to the police, the reputation of the museum will be ruined! I split the paintings into 4 centers and they rotated around filling in a worksheet to determine the truth. Groups with correct answers will get candy bars.
I was planning for this activity to take only one class period, but they were having such a great time -they didn't want to rotate to the next center until they were sure they had completely investigated each painting. They really enjoyed this game and I heard a lot of art terms being discussed as they collaborated together in their groups.