Monday, July 15, 2013

Bastille Day Part 2: Books in France!

Yesterday, we celebrated Bastille Day by looking at books about the French Revolution. Today, we open it up a bit more by looking at books set in France, or by French authors.


No and Me by Delphine de Vigan, translated from the French by George Miller. When Lou befriends the homeless No as part of a class project, everything changes. No moves in and helps heal Lou's family, but it'll take more than Lou to help heal No, if that's even possible.

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faiza Gruene, translated from the French by Sarah Adams. Doria is a French teenager of Moroccan descent living in Paradise Gardens-- a Parisian suburban ghetto. Sick of school, sick of the stream of social workers coming to the house, sick of her gossip-y neighbors, Doria's main outlook on life is "kif kif tomorrow" which she translates as "same old shit tomorrow".

A Time of Miracles by Anne-Marie Bondoux, translated from the French by Y. Maudet. Koumail knows that his real name is Blaise Fortune. He is a French citizen. As a baby, he was rescued from a train wreck by Gloria. Since the age of 7, they have been on the run from the rebels, from the war. He doesn't understand the war and everytime he asks, Gloria tells him that it's useless to try to understand the Caucasus. It's not the concern of a French citizen.


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Anna's not happy about having to spend her senior year at a boarding school in Paris. But she makes some cool friends, including the dashing Etienne St. Clair-- completely perfect except for the fact he already has a girlfriend. Be sure to read the companion novel Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers. Ismae joins the convent at St. Mortain where she trains to become an assassin for hire. (Yes, this book is all about assassin nuns.) But, in her first assignment, she needs to see who is betraying the Breton Duchess to the French, and there she runs into trouble for paying more attention in her classes in poisons and weapons than courtly ways and royal history. This takes place in Brittany, when it was still a separate Duchy and the politics are very much in play, and well, Brittany is now a part of France. Be sure to follow it with Dark Triumph.

Pardon My French by Cathy Hopka. I love the Students Across the Seven Seas series about girls studying abroad. Nicole doesn't want to be studying in Paris-- after years of moving around she wants to stay at home with her boyfriend, go to college with him, and then get married. She makes no effort to learn French and is generally miserable-- but Paris's charm starts to wear her down to the point where Nichole is the only one to get a sequel-- she returns to the City of Light in French Kissmas.

What are your favorite books set it France or written by a French author?

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