Sunday, July 14, 2013

Celebrate Bastille Day! YA/MG books featuring The French Rev

"You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world"

--The Beatles, "Revolution"

July 14 (le quatorze juillet) is Bastille Day in France, a holiday that features fireworks, parades, and dances. Bastille Day commemorates July 14, 1789, the day French peasants stormed the Bastille, a French prison, in revolt against the powerful French monarchy (under Louix XVI) and aristocratic ruling class. This event kicked off the French Revolution, which lasted ten years and brought about major social and political changes in France and all over Europe.

(all book summaries courtesy of Follett's Titlewave):

The Red Necklace: A Story of the French Revolution (Sally Gardner)
In the late eighteenth-century, Sido, the twelve-year-old daughter of a self-indulgent marquis, and Yann, a fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan raised to perform in a magic show, face a common enemy at the start of the French Revolution.

The Silver Blade (Sally Gardner)
Sequel to The Red Necklace. Yann returns to revolutionary France to smuggle out aristocratic refugees who will otherwise face the guillotine. When his beloved Sido is kidnapped under strange circumstances, Yann must use all his strength and courage to outwit the evil count, rescue Sido, and save all of France.
Revolution (Jennifer Donnelly)
An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy--Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
The Pale Assassin (Patricia Elliott)
In Paris in the early 1790s, as the revolution gains momentum, young and sheltered Eugenie de Boncoeur finds it difficult to tell friend from foe as she and the royalist brother she relies on become the focus of "le Fantome," the sinister spymaster with a long-held grudge against their family.

Sovay (Celia Rees)
An historical novel set in 1794 England, about a wealthy girl who disguises herself as a highwayman, acquires papers that could lead to her father's arrest, and must hide both her and her father's identity during the political unrest of the French Revolution.

You Wouldn't Want To Be An Aristocrat in the French Revolution! (Jim Pipe, David Antram, David Salariya)
Nonfiction. Humorous illustrations describe the culture and traditions of Paris and of the aristocracy during the time of the French Revolution.

Moi and Marie Antoinette (Lynn Cullen, Amy Young)
Picture book. Sebastien relates the life of Marie Antoinette as she goes from being a teenager devoted to him, her pug dog, to becoming the Queen of France and mother to two children.

The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette (Carolyn Meyer)
Young Royals series, book 6. In eighteenth-century France, Marie Antoinette rails against the rules of etiquette that govern her life even as she tries to fulfill her greatest obligation, giving birth to the next king, but she finds diversion in spending money on clothing, parties, and gambling despite her family's warnings and the whispers of courtiers.

The Time-Traveling Fashionista At the Palace of Marie Antoinette (Bianca Turetsky)
While seeking the perfect dress for her friend's birthday party, twelve-year-old Louise Lambert dons a vintage gown and finds herself with a young Marie Antoinette in eighteenth-century France where, between cute commoner boys and glamorous trips to Paris, she finds that life in the palace is not all cake and couture.

The Lacemaker and the Princess (Kimberly Brubaker Bradley)
Eleven-year-old Isabelle, living with her lacemaker grandmother and mother near the palace of Versailles in 1788, becomes close friends with Marie Antoinette's daughter, Princess Therese, and finds their relationship complicated not only by their different social class but by the growing political unrest and resentment of the French people.

A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
set London during the French Revolution, in which a French nobleman, Charles Darnay, renounces his position and leaves his country, then returns during the Terror to save the life of a servant, putting himself in grave danger.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (Baroness Emmuska Orczy)
Sir Percy Blakeney, an eighteenth-century Englishman, poses as a member of the French Revolution to snatch imprisoned noblemen from the jaws of the guillotine and spirit them to safety in England.

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