The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity

Random House Studio. Sept. 2023. 288p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593643846.
Gr 5 Up–Most readers will not know that the Mona Lisa painting was once stolen from its home at the Louvre. This nonfiction middle grade book contextualizes this historic moment with world events. The publicity that surrounded the theft only added to the painting’s fame. Readers will learn of the heist, discover new connections to other artists, and find out fascinating details and facts of the long-ago crime. Moving back and forth between the caper and the life of Leonardo da Vinci, the text takes readers around the world figuratively and literally. Day writes in a pleasant conversational style, addressing readers directly. The story moves along at a reasonable pace and includes many historical figures; the abundance of cultural references makes the story challenging, but interesting.
VERDICT An intriguing exploration of a significant yet little-known event.

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