Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: Sep 4, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publisher
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Mira is shocked when she receives a postcard from her missing mother from Paris. Her father decides it's time for a trip to France to search for her. While visiting Notre Dame, Mira touches a gargoyle and is whirled into the past. There she meets the famous painter Degas and catches a brief, shocking glimpse of her mother. Mira begins to suspect that her mom didn't run out on them but is a prisoner of the past. Can one family on an incredible worldwide adventure stop a plot in time?
I loved this book for many reasons. I think it's great that a middle grade book is actively teaching young people about history, art, and tolerance all at the same time.
I loved the main message of the book, and that is tolerance. I hadn't heard of the Dreyfus Affair before, Dreyfus being accused of ugly crimes in 19th century France simply because he was Jewish. But I think that tolerance and acceptance is something that needs to be addressed in our society today. There is also a great message of standing up for what you think is right, in the face of intolerance, and I think that's what Mira was able to learn through her time travels.
I also loved being able to 'spend time' with Degas and Mary Cassatt in this book. It was great to see the artists' daily lives through the eyes of a friend. The Impressionist movement in France is a wonderful time in art history, and it's represented well in this story. Mira's sketches throughout the pages of the book added to the artistic story lines. She never saw herself as a good enough artist, but her sketches prove otherwise, something her friends were able to see.
Mira is a great character, and I really liked her relationship with her family and her 19th century artist friends. I loved the romantic story line between Mira and Claude, it was just enough romance for this age group. At the same time, it was heartbreaking in it's simplicity.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Bottom Line: I loved this mix of history, mystery, and art, along with a fantastic message about tolerance that is still important today.
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