Middle school girls obsessed with fashion will find an entertaining, painless history lesson in this light romp.
Louise, 12, envies her best friend, who is becoming an actual teenager. Worse, her dad has suddenly lost his job, so Louise won’t be going on her much-anticipated trip to France with her classmates. She consoles herself by indulging in her obsession, vintage fashion, at the exclusive traveling vintage-clothing store that has sent her another exclusive invitation. The last time she visited the peripatetic store, she wound up traveling back in time to the Titanic, and she wonders if she can take another trip. Of course she can, winding up in the court of 14-year-old Princess Marie Antoinette just after her marriage to Prince Louis. Louise finds herself in the persona of a Duchess called Gabrielle. The amazing excesses of the court astonish her, as, of course, does the fashion. However, she also learns about the appalling conditions of the people of France and tries to awaken Marie Antoinette to their misery. She remembers the lecture her history teacher gave her class about the French Revolution, but can’t recall just when it happened. Is Louise herself in personal danger? Turetsky delivers her enjoyable history lesson through the eyes of a girl who knows every major and minor fashion designer, a character sure to appeal to her target audience, as will the time-traveling theme. Appealing illustrations aid readers’ imaginations.
Good fun. (Fantasy. 8-12)