Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bastille Day: Books About the French Revolution

On this day in 1789, the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, one of the major events at the beginning of the French Revolution. Now July 14th is France's National Holiday, so we're celebrating! Today we're looking at books about the French Revolution-- tomorrow we'll look at France in general


Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Andi blames herself for her brother's death--the event that caused her family to disintegrate. When he discovers she's going to fail out of school, Andi's father comes back from Paris to collect her and to check her mother into a psych ward. In Paris, her father is researching a heart that may have belonged to Louis-Charles, a prince killed in the Revolution who happens to have Andi's brother's eyes. When Andi finds the diary of a street performer and friend of the murdered prince, she gets caught up in the horrors of the revolution and when the storylines merge... well, there's a reason why it's on this list.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. It's the ultimate tale of the revolution! It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... and Madame Defarge knits her code and the streets run with blood.

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner. Yann is a circus performer, Sido the daughter of a Marquis who's using her for his own ends. At the beginning of the revolution, the two meet and try to find their own ways in a quickly changing world. Follow it with The Silver Blade.


Sovay by Celia Rees. Sovay is both an artists model and a highwayamn. After her father is arrested for treason, she gets involves with politics and ends up on the other side of the English Channel, during the Reign of Terror.

The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliot. When Eugenie turns 16, she will marry La Fantome, a man who despises her family. But then the Revolution starts and she's running for her life-- from her fiance, and also from the Revolutionary crowds. Follow it with The Traitor's Smile.

The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky. Sometimes, when Louise puts on just the right vintage gown, she ends up back in time. This time, she's ended up at the court of Marie-Antoinette, right before the start of the Revolution and must find a way to get home before she loses her head. The second in a series, start with The Time-Traveling Fashionista On Board the Titanic.

What books about the revolution would you add?

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