The plot of this novel may sound familiar: a young woman and young man, caught inside a museum they cannot leave, are trying to solve the mystery around a secret code they have found on a piece of Renaissance artwork. However, unlike a recent bestseller, this book was intentionally written at a junior high school comprehension level, and by a legitimate author-not some Dandy in a Brown sport coat with few original ideas. (This is not to suggest that hack plagiarized this novel, as though it were his Holy Grail-perhaps little more than a Pendulum swinging through his illumination; or a Legacy he does not acknowledge.)
I first read the book as a child, and now, 25 years later, I remember it fondly as one of those novels that helped shape my way of thinking. When I recently purchased it again, I was just as impressed with the quality of the storytelling. This book should rightly be considered not only one of the classics of young adult literature, but all literature.
Not bogged down with pointless plot twists or predictable betrayals, this book is short, yet dense with imagery. The characters are sympathetic and their reactions to extraordinary circumstances are credible. I would happily read this book six times before I read The DaVinci Code again.