Review Detail

Kids Fiction 5038
Can't get to London? This book takes you there!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
This sequel to My Secret Guide to Paris finds Phoebe and her sister Alice back home in London following their adventures in Paris with Nora and Justin. Alice is pining for Justin and also making college plans-- she thinks it is a great idea to head to the states so that she is on the same continent as her "one true love"! Phoebe feels sad that her sister isn't paying as much attention to her, and they aren't as close as they used to be, so when she finds an antique compact with a letter folded inside of it, she holds out some hope that the "magic spell" it delineates is worth a try! She also hopes that the compact is worth enough money that it will help defray the cost of her sister's education, taking pressure off of her hard working parents. The letter is from a sister to her younger sister who was sent to live with another family during the Blitz. Phoebe sets off to follow all of the clues with her good friend, Ned, and has a lot of adventures, including tracking down the writer of the letter and visiting the woman, with her parents and sister in tow!
Good Points
I enjoyed the first book in this series, My Secret Guide to Paris, but since this one was much happier AND was set in London, I liked it even better! There were lots of good details about London landmarks, since the mystery hinged on objects that were hidden in various places. The fact that Phoebe and her friend Ned got to roam around London by themselves made it even better and gave it a nice A Little Romance vibe, and well as some very clever introduction to history.

In addition to an adorable cover, this had supportive parents, good friends, realistic problem with the sister. Since Alice is a few years older than Phoebe and concerned more about college than anything else, they aren't getting along. I think this is something that a lot of middle grade readers experience, but it is rarely covered in books. The fact that the parents run an antique store and take buying trips to Paris (where Phoebe met the characters from My Secret Guide to Paris) makes Phoebe's life seem exotic and exciting!

For readers who like travel books and light romance, this is an excellent choice for fun summer reading!
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