16 October 2012

Review: Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris by Marissa Moss

Mira's mother has gone missing. Her dad called the police, but there has been no trace of Mom for months, and no ransom notes have shown up either. Then one summer day, an antique postcard from Paris arrives in the mail. To Mira's surprise, it's from her mom; unfortunately, Mira, Malcolm, and their dad don't understand Mom's cryptic message.

The good news is that Dad has a year-long grant to travel around the world photographing famous man-made structures, and he's taking the kids with him. The first stop is Paris, where they hope to find Mom.

While touring Nortre Dame, Mira finds herself irresistibly drawn to a gargoyle. As soon as she touches it, she's whisked back to 1881! After accepting the help of cute boy, who just happens to be an apprentice to Degas, Mira discovers another note from her mother--who is stuck in 1881--which explains that time-traveling is genetic and lists several important rules Mira must follow.

The worst rule is that Mira and her mother must not touch or talk to each other, and the most confusing rule is that Mira must discover why she's been called back in time and must complete her tasks before returning permanently to 2012. Can Mira figure out what she's supposed to do? More important, will she find a way to get back to the 21st century?

Marissa Moss's Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris, is a fun story for middle grade readers full of mystery and history. Youngsters will learn about the famous French Impressionists, antisemitism, and the Dreyfus Affair. Moss's informal writing style and charming charcoal (pencil?) drawings make Mira's story easy to read and keeps the plot moving forward.

Mira, a junior high student, is a great character, who's smart and full of spunk. She's easy to relate to because she isn't a know-it-all and she isn't always brave. Plus she gets herself into some scrapes when she tries to come up with quick stories to explain her sudden disappearances every time she stumbles across a time-portal touchstone.

At the back of the book, Moss provides an author's note for readers who want to know more about late-19th-century Paris. Book clubs, homeschoolers, and teachers will appreciate the short bibliography, which offers a starting point for a more in-depth study of the time period.

Although Lost in Paris ends on a satisfying note, the last page hints that there are more time-traveling adventures to come.

Giveaway: Thanks to the publishers, I'm able to offer one of my readers (U.S. or Canadian mailing address only) a copy of Marissa Moss's Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris. All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner, via random number generator, on October 26. I'll delete all personal information as soon as a winner is confirmed. Good luck.

This review will be linked to Kid Konnection, hosted every Saturday by Julie at Booking Mama.

Buy Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris at an Indie or at a bookstore near you. This link leads to an affiliate program.
Published by Sourcebooks / Jabberwocky, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781402266065

Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Daryl 10/16/12, 9:18 AM  

this is another good one for my friend's daughter ... thanks!

Zibilee 10/16/12, 10:26 AM  

I love time travel stories! I haven't read any set for this age group, but what you've said here really has me excited about it. Great review today!

Anonymous,  10/16/12, 10:53 AM  

What a fun story! Time travel and Paris sound like a winning combination. :)

bermudaonion 10/16/12, 11:26 AM  

I got a copy of this at BEA and am really looking forward to it. I love anything to do with Paris.

Julie P. 10/16/12, 7:53 PM  

Sounds cute. I, too, picked up an autographed copy of this one at BEA. Will have to pull out and share with Booking Daughter before she's too old.

Heidenkind 10/17/12, 1:07 AM  

Ha! As if Degas had the patience to keep an apprentice. Still, I feel an illogical need to read this book.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 10/17/12, 11:19 AM  

This sounds like a fun book. I don't usually read middle grade books, but throw in a time travel element and I'm there.

Gerbera Daisy Diaries 10/17/12, 8:43 PM  

Looks delightful! My 11 year old would love it!

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