Sunday, September 11, 2022

Today's read... Amanda in France by Darlene Foster

Paris anyone?  Today's read is the 9th book in a mystery series for middle graders. I have not read any of the books in the series so far, so I'm stepping into this one quite late in the game. I loved the title and the idea of traveling around the world with mysteries. Plus, this one adds in the burning of the Notre Dame, which is a very new topic, and definitely one I haven't seen in kidlit yet. 

Plus, I can dream of cafes and the bustling Paris streets.

Fire in the Cathedral
by Darlene Foster
Central Avenue Publishing
Middle Grade Mystery
114 pages
ages 8 to 12


Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, while being drawn into the mystery surrounding the destructive fire of Notre Dame cathedral.

Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time something bad happens?

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, all the time looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic cathedral.

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets and sites around Paris, all the while looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic place.

Be sure to read all the books in this exciting Amanda Travels series!
1. Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask
2. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting
3. Amanda in England: The Missing Novel
4. Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
5. Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
6. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind
7. Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action
8. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
8. Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral



Paris greets with its amazing sights, while a very normal girl does her best to solve a mystery and butts heads with some very shady characters.

Amanda is thrilled to have the chance to stay and work for a few weeks at a bookstore in Paris. But while touring the various sights, the same man pops up again and again. She's not sure what to think of him, especially when strange things start happening at the popular places. Lights going out, bomb threats and more follow them more often then things like that should. When the Notre Dame goes up in flames and the man is there again, she's sure something is up.

I have not read any of the books in this series before this one but had no trouble diving right into the story. So, this can be read as a stand alone.

This is a lighter read than I expected and works well, especially for the lower end of the middle grade range. The plot moves along at a good pace, concentrating only on those aspects which build a bit of character and propel the mystery forwards. It makes for an easy, engaging read the entire way through. The clues are also well placed, making it fun to try to piece them together right along with Amanda.

While the mystery keeps the reader guessing, there's also a lot to learn about Paris. The various sights, some historical tidbits, and a bit of culture is also thrown in. The facts mold in smoothly with Amanda's adventure but never hold too many details to bog down. It's a fun, easy way to learn more about the country and city.

This is an entertaining read and great for mystery fans, who love an easy-to-like main character and enjoy learning more about the world.  

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Good to know you can drop into the series. I like fast-paced mysteries so I might enjoy this series.