Mira gets a postcard from the mother who her & her family have deemed missing for months. It leads them to Paris where, by accident, Mira touches a gargoyle perched atop Notre Dame and discovers that it has transported her back in time. She discovers that her mission in the past is to prevent an injustice from happening in the future.
I thought this was a really cute idea for a Middle Grade book. The book is filled with Mira’s sketches that go along with the narrative. However, I felt that perhaps it was trying to do too much in one book. Moss tries to jam in sci-fi, romance (awkwardly) and a history/social ethics lesson in about 200 pages. I didn’t find the light & fun vibe that the cover purports the story to be accurately reflected in how much darker and serious the book ends up being.
I also found it a bit strange to have Mira, who I believe might only be 14 since she’s a “couple of years” younger than her older brother at 16, to be so completely obsessed with kissing the first boy she meets when she goes back in time. It seemed based on nothing but a schoolgirl crush, which I suppose this is, but it just felt very much randomly thrown in there to add some “romance” into the mix. Not even adding in the fact of all the awkward inappropriateness as she’s jumping through time while old-Paris keeps on moving along.
That being said, Moss does do a great job educating some important points in Paris’ history, with the prominent people in art at the time and the discrimination towards the Jewish community. Degas is also featured in this story, which I chuckled at since it seems the majority of Paris books I’ve read lately feature the artist prominently… it’s like there’s no other Parisian artist of that time worthy to note. I admittedly did learn a bit about the history of the city and significant players of the time, and how that translated to present day.