Cover Image: Amanda in France

Amanda in France

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Member Reviews

It was clearly a nice reading and I would recommend this to children ages 7+. It is an easy read and it might be very useful to discuss with parents/ teachers afterwards. The author presents a light mistery for children but in the same time the entire novel has a lot of suggestions on what to visit when in Paris and some advice on food and art. For sure after reading it, children will be curious to learn more about Paris and the history of the city.
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I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is well written and the characters are described well. This is such a fun little book. It is a fast paced well described children's book. It makes you want to visit each location. You can read this as a stand alone or as a series. The writing style will keep your attention from the first page. I absolutely loved this book. I adore Amanda, Leah, and Jenny’s characters. This book is in stores for $12.99 (USD).
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In a Nutshell: A nice children’s book that is part travelogue and part mystery. Works fairly well.

Amanda has arrived in Paris with her friend Leah and Leah’s Aunt Jenny, where they are volunteers at a famous bookstore. As the bookstore job hardly take as a few hours, they use the rest of the time to explore Paris. However, there are some strange occurrences during their trips: a bomb threat at the Opera House, flickering lights at the Louvre, and, worst of all, a devastating fire at the Notre Dame. Each time something bad happens, a mysterious man pops up at the scene. Who is this person and how is he involved in the mysterious proceedings? 

This is the ninth title in the Amanda series, but the books are standalone reads. 

On the pro side, the book is a very quick and easy read. It is aimed at middle graders and suits that audience well. Amanda’s trips to the famous locations in Paris reveal amazing details about the city and its monuments. These were a treat to read. The fire at Notre Dame is one of the worst tragedies of recent times – reading about it created a lump in my throat.

At the same time, though middle-grade fiction is one of my favourite genres, this book felt just about okay because of its writing style. As this is part of a series, it presumes familiarity with Amanda and her friends. I didn’t feel like I got to know the characters at all. (One thing I always like knowing is the age of the protagonist, just so I can understand their thinking and their motives. Amanda’s age isn’t revealed in the book.) Amanda’s understanding of French seems to be inconsistent; she comprehends tough words but struggles with easy ones. I didn’t like the mystery; it involved too many coincidences to be convincing. Also, I feel this story would have worked better with illustrations.

This is a children’s fiction that will work mainly for its audience. It is a great way to learn about Parisian landmarks and culture, and would serve as an especially wonderful accompaniment during a vacation to Paris. I enjoyed the connection of historical facts with contemporary locations, though I wish the mystery had gripped me better. 

3.25 stars.

My thanks to Central Avenue Publishing and NetGalley for the DRC of “Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.
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I really enjoyed this book, it was so well written and is a great book for both the young adult and adult market, I didn’t feel like this had to be exclusively marketed at young adults. The writing was great and I really liked the setting and the story idea. This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
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Amanda has arrived in Paris with her best friend Leah and her friends extraordinarily unique Aunt Jenny. Amanda breathes in the sites and sounds of Paris surrounded by the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Amanda is also living history as she witnesses the fire at Norte Dame. Intrigued and determined, she begins her search for clues as to what started this devastating fire. 
Having visited Paris, the prose describe the streets and attractions of Paris beautifully. I was transported back to Versailles, to the wonderment of Shakespeare and Company and the romance of the Seine.
This is a wonderful novel for readers of any age.
Thank you NetGalley, Darlene Foster & Central Avenue Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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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 entertParis 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.  
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.  I received a complimentary DRC and enjoyed visiting Paris with Amanda quite a bit.
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I’ve armchair traveled with Amanda a few times now, and I was thrilled to experience France with her this time around.

Even though these books are geared toward the younger crowd, I learn something about the different countries every time. Here are just a few examples from France: the purpose of gargoyles, there’s a lake beneath the Palais Garnier (just like Phantom of the Opera!), and the Louvre was originally a royal palace. Evidently I never paid much attention in history class.

Amanda has a talent for attracting trouble, and she’s not in Paris for long before strange occurrences begin. Why do they keep running into the same man everywhere they go? Who went through Aunt Jenny’s belongings in their room at Shakespeare and Company? Can their new friend Pierre be trusted? Amanda and her friend Leah (who’s beginning to show signs of teen moodiness) find themselves in the middle of a mystery all while touring the wonderful sites (and food!) Paris has to offer.

This is a fast-paced story easily finished in under two hours. I highly recommend this series as a way to introduce kids to different countries and cultures. Solving mysteries with Amanda is just a bonus.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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So I didn’t realise this was a middle grade book and nor did I realise it is a series, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!

I think this is a really fun way for younger people to learn about Paris and French culture and history. The way little bits of history and facts are woven into the story makes it fun and easier to retain, plus with an interesting mystery story, makes this a lovely quick, easy and enjoyable read!

I know this is a middle grade book but I don’t necessarily feel a book aimed at younger audiences is a reason to not like it, however I will say I think this book has a lot of the author ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’ through the language. Again, I get it’s middle grade but there was a lot of ‘she said, he said’ when there could be more detail. 

The book was super quick and apart from those small things I noticed, I enjoyed it - even though I’m clearly not the target. It did make me smile and I’m sure younger people are going to adore this book! What a creative way to journey to France, all without leaving your chair!
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An easy read adventure.  Good for pupils that enjoy learning about different places, this really does mention almost every famous thing about Paris and the surrounding area.  I thought it was full of detail and made it relatable to a young audience. Despite not having read any of the other stories in the series I go to understand the characters easily by their enthusiasm on different things.   A few twists and turns to keep the reader wondering who the bad guys are.  I enjoyed visiting all the places in and around Paris with Amanda and her friends and the plot was easily enough to follow for younger readers. I certainly would love to help in a bookshop like Amanda did!
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I loved this, it was almost like being back in Paris. The children liked the mystery but we're entranced by the locations and their descriptions. They all now want the next book in the series and a trip to Paris.
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Amanda is a likable character; she is 12 years old and with her friend Leah and her aunt Jenny she visits Paris. They stay in a book shop, which sounds rather amazing, in exchange for a few hours work. All the major attractions in the capital of France are visited and every time the same guy pops up. Strange things happen. 

It has been a long time since I read a middle grade book (8 - 12 year-old) and sometimes the depiction of events is overly simplistic. But, saying that, it does encourage young readers to learn about a different country and all the places they visit are very well described. I enjoyed reliving my visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny with all the wonderful colours and textures that garden offers. 

This is Amanda’s tenth trip being a detective through no fault of her own. She stumbles upon a mystery and then more or less by chance solves it. Amanda endures exciting events, such as a bomb scare and the fire of the Notre Dame, where she, her friend and aunt -incredibly- help save some of the invaluable art works. It is an enjoyable read.
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Join Amanda on another exciting adventure in the city of Paris. Part of a young adult series of travel books by author Darlene Foster, Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral takes readers on another action-packed trip through a famous city. Filled with unique sites, exciting characters, and a mystery, this newest addition to the series does not disappoint. This book is excellent for the little world traveler in your life.
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Amanda's adventures were new to me and I was drawn to requesting the book as I have an interest in France and the description of the book set during the time of the fire of Notre Dam really had me intrigued.  The story introduced the characters within the first few pages allowing readers like me to pick up the book without having read the other titles in the series.  The plot moved at pace and really gave the reader a sense of Paris and its numerous landmarks.  I liked the mystery dimension to the story and the relationship between the main characters.  I think this books would suit audiences ages 7 and up and would make for a great class novel. Many thanks for being allowed opportunity to read ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review.
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I picked up Darlene Foster’s middle-grade novel, Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral (from  NetGalley), mainly out of curiosity, as I hadn’t read one since I was in the middle grades myself. I was also curious about how Foster would handle the Notre Dame Cathedral fire that made world news in 2019. 

Coming to the novel as an adult, I found Amanda a delightful character I could identify with easily. I enjoyed seeing the sights Paris is known for–the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles–through the eyes of a “tween,” someone with a better understanding of the context for what she is seeing than a young child–but still young enough not to have adopted the jaded teen persona. Accordingly, the visual descriptions throughout the book are vivid and detailed, with sounds and smells included to make each scene come alive.

I also found Amanda’s genuine gratitude for being invited on the trip quite refreshing, as well as how much she enjoys her food. Amanda’s best friend Leah is a bit of a downer, although believable as a foil to Amanda’s unbridled enthusiasm. 

Amanda and Leah are in the company of Leah’s Aunt Jenny, who has come to Paris to do research. As the adult figure, Aunt Jenny plays the role of providing the educational content in the book. This aspect is well-handled, with enough information for young readers to appreciate learning something new without becoming a school lecture and pulling them out of the story.

Early on, a mystery is introduced, in the figure of a pony-tailed man lurking about with a camera aimed at Aunt Jenny. Adding to the mix are some leather-jacketed young thugs, a bomb threat at the Louvre, and the question of how the Notre Dame Cathedral fire started. 

My favorite aspect of Amanda in France was the mystery. I stayed up very late one night because I could not stop turning the pages. The mystery was resolved believably with no loose ends, leading to a satisfying reader experience. Even though I haven’t been a middle-grader since Hector was a pup, I feel confident they will love the book!
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Disclosure: I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

Amanda in Paris is perfect for the tween reader who is about to embark upon a trip to Paris or is fascinated by other places. The book is a scavenger hunt of Paris monuments and would be the perfect activity to prepare for a family vacation to Paris with kids. 

Amanda in Paris follows the adventures of Amanda, her friend Leah, and her Aunt Jenny. They are checked into Shakespeare & Company on the Left Bank and spend their days sightseeing and working in the bookstore for their room and board. While in Paris, Amanda noticed some suspicious things happening, which culminates with the fire at Notre Dame. We follow the trio through Paris as Amanda tries to make sense of the strange circumstances surrounding their trip. 

The mystery to the story is a little cheesy for adults, and perhaps could be further developed for tweens, but this book stands out for its imagery and the dichotomy of attitudes between the characters: Amanda, ever the excited optimist ready for sightseeing, and Leah, the slightly pessimistic friend who would rather be cool.  It lends itself to facilitating a discussion about character, choices, and embracing opportunities.

As someone who travels to Paris frequently, I think this is the perfect primer for a trip to Paris, though perhaps it would be important to talk about safety and not talking to every stranger you encounter on the street!
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5 stars – an exciting mystery set in Paris

Amanda in Paris is the ninth book in the Amanda Travels series, and it is an exciting way for children aged about 8-12 to learn about Paris. In this instalment, Amanda travels to Paris with her best friend, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. Their accommodation is a hostel above the well-known Shakespeare and Company Bookshop, where writers can stay for free in return for helping in the bookshop. That puts them right across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral.

It doesn’t take long for them to fall in love with Paris, as they explore all the highlights, and venture further afield to the Palace of Versailles and Monet’s glorious garden in Giverny. But they soon face danger and become drawn into a mystery, and it is always tied in with the places they visit. There’s a bomb threat when they attend the Paris Opera House, and later they see the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Amanda is determined to solve the mystery surrounding the fire and the strange characters who seem to be involved. She’s never been afraid to face danger, but she’ll need all her courage this time.

This book is the perfect way to introduce young people to Paris, and the mystery and adventure will have them turning the pages right to the end. I love the concept of this series, and will be giving it to my grandchildren when they’re a couple of years older. It would also be excellent for anyone who is learning English and wants to try a very easy-to-read novel.

I give Amanda in Paris a well-deserved 5 stars. Thank you very much to the publishers for an advance reader copy (ARC) of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This is a charming story of a little Canadian girl,Amanda, who visits Paris with Aunt Jenny and cousin Leah. Throughout their stay they visit many famous landmarks ,both in and out of the city and stay in the famous Shakespeare and Co bookshop. Amanda is intrigued by the elusive Philippe Lawrence  and begins to wonder about any connection with young Jerome, who is attracting unwelcome attention.Add in a bomb scare, fire and kidnap and there are the elements of a compelling mystery here.Unfortunately I found too much of the language a little trite with far too many stereotypes.As an ex French teacher I applaud the description of the many landmarks with some historical comment attached to each but this did often create a didactic tone which made the mystery element more superficial than was perhaps intended.
I’m sure younger readers wanting to learn about Paris will enjoy this however.
Thank you for allowing me to read this ARC.
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Amanda is back and is in one of my favorite destinations—-Paris!  Author Darlene Foster proves, once again, that her Amanda series can reach adults as well as her targeted middle school audience.

In true Amanda style, this book which is ninth in the series, finds her involved in travel and a bit of mystery.  I loved reading about all the famous places that have made Paris so interesting to the world for so many years.  The Eiffel Tower, Versailles, The Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, the Opera House all had . Important places in the story and with Foster’s skilled writing they came to life on the pages.

Fire in the Cathedral obviously refers to the devastating fire at Notre Dame and Amanda and her friend Leah actually help and are part of the human chain to help relay items out of the burning cathedral.

And before I forget to mention—- the girls are staying at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore while doing some volunteer work under the watchful guidance of Aunt Jenny.  What could be better than a bookstore theme? 

I love this series and the author does a great job of introducing the right amount of background information without being boring.  I always learn a thing or two from each book and I know that middle school students will love the story as well. 

Thanks to the author and NetGalley for a free copy for my honest review. I honestly loved it!
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A fun mystery for middle grade kids and one I will definitely encourage my daughter to read when she’s older. It was fun to explore PARIS and the writing will resonate well with youth! 

Thank you Netgalley and Central Avenue Publishing for the arc in exchange for an honest review!
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This series of books set in different countries is a fun and clever way to introduce youngsters to different cultures.

Darlene Foster's entertaining style draws the reader in and keeps their attention throughout. In this latest adventure, Amanda in France, we are treated to the wonders of Paris with mention of many famous places.

Amanda and her friend Leah are staying at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore whilst doing volunteer work there, accompanied by Amanda's aunt. Jenny. The two girls are treated to wonderful sights such as Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, The Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Monet's Garden and unexpected panic at the Opera House! There is a topical focus on the destructive fire at Notre-Dame with Amanda, Jenny, Leah, and Philippe becoming part of the human chain to help.

Amanda becomes embroiled in a mystery… who's behind the fire at Notre-Dame? And who are this gang of youngsters ? And what part do Jerome and Philippe have to play in this mystery?

Great fun for kids and adults too. It whisked me away to Paris for a short while and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

A fun easy and enjoyable read, with educational elements. I particularly enjoyed the ending with the advice about terrorism, and bombs. That was a nice touch and wraps up nicely from the earlier discussions in the book about terrorism and the French Revolution. .

Many thanks to Central Avenue Publishing, the author Darlene Foster and NetGalley for this title. All opinions are my own..
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