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?
Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris is a good mix of subjects. It’s about an average, modern day girl who is easy to relate to and connect with. There’s time travel in the book, which also throws in the history. And since there are many famous artists in the books, those interested in art history may enjoy that bit. The strongest bit of the story for me was the history.
Mira never knew she could time travel so is quite shocked when she ends up in 1894. Things start to be revealed through a few notes left by her mother and she discovers that they need to change something in history relating to the Dreyfus Affair. Now if you don’t know much history (like me) you may not know much about it. In this book you learn a lot while in a fictional story. At the end the author has a note about everything that really happened and I think she did a great job incorporating true history into a fictional story. It’s a good way to get kids to learn history without them feeling like they are ‘learning’.
I really enjoyed the book a lot and feel like I really learned a lot. I really should have known more about this, but I really knew nothing about the Dreyfus Affair so it was pretty much all new to me. At times I felt like things moved a bit too swiftly without allowing enough time to fully explain things but that’s really my only complaint. This is middle grade, which is sometimes hard to put an age on, but the book says 9 and up (well, it might say 9-13 or something) and I think that’s an accurate age. It reads like it’s nearly an young adult book, but is a bit lighter and easier reading without anything too complex.
The ending of the book is left pretty wide open. There’s obviously much more to the story, but it wasn’t a huge cliffhanger either. I am eager to continue the story and see where things go in the future books.
Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.