08 April 2015

Review: My Secret Guide to Paris

My Secret Guide to Paris
My Secret Guide to Paris by Lisa Schroeder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read far too often that people avoid reading YA books (and, in turn, younger books) because they don't really deal with issues well, don't have the sort of emotional maturity, what have you.

I say hogwash, and offer My Secret Guide to Paris up as a counter.

The story itself is very simple, and it's written toward its target audience, for sure. A young girl has a great relationship with her grandmother, and their combined desire is to go to Paris together. Unfortunately, the grandmother dies in an accident and Nora isn't sure she'll be able to go anymore until her mother finds three tickets and some envelopes in a trunk. Quickly, they're off to Paris and what becomes a fun scavenger hunt for Nora to enjoy Paris and everything that goes with it.

This book is actually pretty solid on a few levels. It deals with loss, with family drama, with independence and spreading your wings, with new experiences. A lot of these feel really pure and realistic, which is not always true of middle grade books, and the end result is one that you really hope for, which is great. No, the book isn't dealing with Important Social Issues or forging any new frontiers, but it doesn't have to - instead, it's a book that kids will pick up thinking they're getting a light story, and end up with one that they'll probably find something to relate to. That's what makes good fiction for kids work.

Just a solid read across the board, and I wish I read it earlier. Definitely recommended for any kids in your life, and if you're into books for kids, you should read it, too. A ton of heart.

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