Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Lacemaker and the Princess

The Lacemaker and the Princess The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

AR Reading Level: 4.3
On the library stacks: Children's Fiction
Recommended for: Grade 6+

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was purely an impulse buy at the Scholastic Warehouse. I was drawn to the cover and was thrilled when I realized this is a historical fiction book about the French Revolution.

Isabelle is an 11-year old lacemaker who lives in Versailles in the days leading up to the Revolution. She must work hard with her ornery grandmother to support her feeble mother. While money is tight, they are able to support themselves with the help of Isabelle's brother who works in the king's stable. One day Isabelle is sent to Versailles to deliver lace to a noblewoman when she runs into Marie Antoinette, who takes her under her wing as a playmate for her daughter, Princess Therese.

Isabelle is thrown into a world so unlike her own. She is often appalled by the extravagance at the palace, but she loves the opportunity to play all day instead of work. She sees how people are suffering under the heavy burden of taxes and crop failures, hungry and cold. But she also sees the royal family in ways the general population does not--a caring father, a doting mother, and great sadness over the poor health of the Dauphin.

This book is excellent historical fiction. It is well-researched and engaging. It does not end happily and there are some references to adulterous royalty and accusations of the promiscuity on the part of Marie Antoinette. Because of that I think it would be a little heavy for younger middle-graders. But I was thoroughly captivated by this story and would like to read more about the same time period. Recommended!

Also reviewed by: Becky's Book Reviews and Confessions of a Book Habitue

Book 50 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge, Book 25 of 50 for the RYOB Challenge, Book 10 of 12 for the Historical Fiction Challenge, Book 39 of 55 for the Countdown Challenge (2007), Book 23 of 25 for the MG Reading Challenge, Book 30 of 50 for the New Author Challenge, Book 3 of 6 for the What's in a Name? Challenge

Source: Purchased

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

That is a fascinating time in history - I can see why you were captivated.