Friday 24 May 2013

Alice-Miranda in Paris

Alice-Miranda in Paris by Jacqueline Harvey (Random House Australia)
PB RRP $15.95
ISBN 9781742752884
Also available as an ebook
ISBN 9781742752891
Reviewed by Marian McGuinness

Bonjour to all the fans of Alice-Miranda. Oui oui, the seventh book in Jacqueline Harvey’s series is set in Paris.

Alice-Miranda and a clutch of her school friends, along with a group of boys from Fayle School for Boys have travelled to Paris as a combined choir to sing at various fab locations during Fashion Week.

As always, things do not go smoothly. There are several plots at work in this epicentre of fashion and City of Love.

The children have fun touring the Louvre, sailing the Seine and performing at the Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame Cathedral and The Ritz. They have their own room keys (like adults), eat breakfasts of croissants and pastries, and walk the hotel owner’s dog Lulu, who ‘strutted like a model on a catwalk.’

But, all is not oh là là! There has been a theft of expensive llama fabric just before the fashion show and Alice-Miranda and crew set out to unravel the mystery.

As usual, there are many deliciously named characters. There’s Mr Trout, Mr Lipp (whose suit was a ‘particularly nasty shade of electric blue’), Mr Plumpton and Professor Winterbottom.

There are several questions that will keep young readers hooked. Who is the famous person strangely named Dux LaBelle who hides beneath a mask and cape? Who is the fabric thief, and who will ask their English teacher, Miss Reedy, out to dinner, after all it is the City of Love!

Beautifully paced and airily written, young readers 8 and up will believe themselves to be walking the streets of Paris with Alice-Miranda aided by the handy glossary of French phrases at the beginning of the book.

Award-winning author Jacqueline Harvey is currently writing more Alice-Miranda books. Sacré bleu! What will her next adventure be?

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