Alice Atherton’s Grand Tour

Oct. 2023. 208p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780553536812.
Gr 3-7–It’s the 1920s, and Alice Atherton is a precocious 10-year-old who is sent to spend the summer on the French Riviera with her father’s friends, their children, and a pet monkey. Alice is delighted to go on an adventure in France, as her father thinks this will help her after the death of her mother in New York City. While abroad, she meets various historical figures, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Sergei Diaghilev, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. This is an easygoing read for young fans of historical fiction. Books in this genre can be a hard sell for young readers, but this will be a hit with the right audience. Although American adults may know most of the historical figures, middle grade students may be less familiar with them and their works. The afterword helpfully features small biographies of each luminary.
VERDICT The lessons taught by the historical figures incorporated into this fiction title will impact readers and bring fresh air to the genre. Alice’s tale will resonate with contemporary tweens.

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