Sofia’s Kids’ Corner: The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks


Sofia is an 9-year-old brilliant reader who aspires to be a book reviewer. On select Saturdays, Sofia shares her favorite books with kids! She is one of the most well-read elementary schoolers that we know, so she is highly qualified for this role!

Dear readers,

This book is something I have never seen before in my life, a different type of book. This book, The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks, has QR codes! These QR codes, more about them later, show famous paintings that are being described on the page that the QR code is on. Most of the paintings are by Van Gogh but some are by other artists like Hans Holbein the Younger and Leonardo Da Vinci. This book is recommended for ages 10-12!

The book is about a boy. The boy had lost his memory, meaning he didn’t know who he was, where he lived or who his parents were. He was found in the National Gallery of Art, Gallery number 83 and was sitting on a bench there for most of the day. When the security guard comes to check on him because he finds his behavior suspicious, he finds out that he has lost his memory. The boy gets sent to the police station and then they realize he has amnesia which is when you lose your memory because of a blow or a traumatic event. They ask him questions about who he is and where he lives but he doesn’t know the answers to any of these questions. They send him to foster care and he ends up with a woman named Mary Sullivan and her ten-year-old daughter, Camille. The police also put an ad in the newspaper about the boy.

Meanwhile a man, who the book leaves in the dark at first, breaks into a person’s house and takes their phone and looks through their computer. The man has a whole team of grown-ups who are the best in their field in the whole world. This person, I will say no more about because everything needs to stay a surprise.

I love this book because of its amazing feature that I have never ever come across before, QR codes! It’s something extraordinary! I love how the QR codes bring you to different sites that show those paintings and let you experiment a bit with them, meaning you can sometimes watch a video about the painting or zoom it in and out and rotate the painting or, of course, the virtual painting. On one of the sites, while zooming in, I could even find a bristle of the paintbrush that Van Gogh himself used! If you do not know what a QR code is, then I can tell you. A QR code is a code which you have to scan using your mobile phone or tablet. You would enter the camera app and then hold the mobile device closeish to the QR code as if you were about to take a picture of it. Then after holding it there a while you would see a website pop up on the top of your screen. You would have to click on that link to the website on the top and then voilá! You’ve done it! If it doesn’t work maybe your phone or tablet is too old and does not have the technology in it to recognize the QR code. If you want to find out more about them, then do what I told you to do and scan this QR code! This one goes to Wikipedia’s page about QR codes!

Another reason that I love this book is the author’s style of writing. I love when they do different perspectives but I love even more when one of the perspectives is, figuratively speaking, “left in the dark”! Get your paint brushes out and get ready to read to them!

**Thanks so much to Sofia for this review! We love those books that are so, so difficult to put down!**

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