Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Timeslip Tuesday-- Lost in Paris

Mira's Diary: Lost in ParisMoss, Marissa. Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris.
4 September 2012, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.

When Mira's family gets a postcard from her mother, who has disappeared, they all decide to go there, since the father has conveniently gotten a fellowship there. Mira hopes to find her mother, and she does... but only after she travels back in time to 1881. She meets Claude, who offers to help her find a place to stay. He is working with a group of artists, so Mira ends up at Mary Cassat's. She has limited contact from her mother, who tells her that she is a time traveler, must follow certain rules, and that they are both in that time to prevent an injustice. Mira soon finds out that the injustice has to do with the treatment of Jews at the time, and she is drawn in to the story of Alfred Dreyfuss. She goes back to 2012 to let her father know what is going on, but then goes back to 1895, where she is still unable to help as much as she would like, and when it is awkward for her and Claude (who fell in love with her) because he is now so much older. Since her mother does not come back to the present, a sequel is probably forthcoming. Historical notes at back, and sketches accompanying text.
Strengths: Good time travel method (touchstones) and purpose, lots of historical information.
Weaknesses: This might have too much historical information for the casual reader who is more familiar with Moss' Amelia books than her other work. I knew a bit about the artists that appear (Degas, Renoir, Manet), and I still had to concentrate to follow.

Common CoreCover image for Mary Cassatt : impressionist p...Cover image for Impressionism

Jones, Allan and Gary Chalk (Illustrations).The Six Crowns: The Ice Gate of Spyre (Book #4)
23 October 2012, Greenwillow Books
Also reviewed for Young Adult Books Central

This series is based on the premise that there was at one point a world ruled by six wise badgers, which then exploded. Bits of the world and the creatures on them survived and were scattered around the sky, and are called the Sundered Lands. Esmerelda, the Princess of Darkness, had this fact revealed to her by reading the Badger Blocks, and is on a quest to find the six crowns of the ruling badgers. However, both the evil Captain Grizzletusk, a pirate, and Esmerelda's Aunt Millie. Esmerelda has a group of companions who are helping her in her quest, and the group gets into a variety of adventures and perilous circumstances along the way.
Strengths: Has many of the qualities of Brian Jacques' Redwall series, but is geared toward younger readers.
Weaknesses: This was personally painful to read. This is a quote from page 2 of the ARC, "Rattle me bones and strain me gravy," sighed Ishmael, his long head between his paws. "Even as oyster has his own wheelbarrow, and that's a fact." No, it doesn't make any more sense in context. I don't like Brian Jacques' books, and this was for a younger audience, and those books are always hard for me to like as well. If you have students who would like to read Jacques' work, but the books are too long, this might be one to try.

Common CoreCover image for Badger's Burrow

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:10 PM EST

    Re Six Crowns, you lost me at "rattle me bones". I would not have the stamina to get through it as you did.