Amanda In France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral

Darlene Foster, Author

Central Avenue Publishing, Sep. 13, 2022

Suitable for ages: 9-12

Themes: France, Travel, Adventure, Mystery, Fire, Cathedral, Friendship

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, while being drawn into the mystery surrounding the destructive fire of Notre Dame cathedral.

Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time something bad happens?

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, all the time looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic cathedral.

Why I like Amanda in France:

Foster has created another exciting and lively adventure story for young readers who enjoy traveling and solving a good mystery. Fans of the Amanda Travels series will quickly pour through the pages exploring the historic sites, munching on sweet macarons and baguettes, and falling in love with Paris along with Amanda.

Amanda is spirited and fun-loving character with a lot of smarts. Her inquisitive nature and keen radar about people draws the girls into a mystery which results in some dangerous situations. Leah is a little more sophisticated, but faithfully remains by Amanda’s side. She’s a nice balance for Amanda, especially when they run into some unsavory characters who may be involved with Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Amanda meets a lot of knew people and I appreciate the subtle message about not judging other people by how the speak or dress. 

I love the setting for this story, as I’ve always wanted to visit Paris. It’s been delightful to journey with Amanda to the Eiffel Tower, the cathedrals, the Paris opera House, Palace of Versailles, and the Louvre. Foster knows her audience and doesn’t talk-down to her young readers. The dialogue is as realistic as are they characters.

Bottom line, I believe that Foster’s Amanda Travel series is a wonderful way for teens to learn about other cultures and be inspired to do some traveling of their own some day.  Make sure you check out the discussion questions at the end of the book.

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral is the ninth book in the Amanda Travels series: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask; Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting; Amanda in England: The Missing Novel: Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone: Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music;; Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind; Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action; and Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady.  Foster has written the books in such a manner that they cab be read in any order, but I recommend you start with the first book.

Darlene Foster: Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, traveling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not traveling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia. Visit her at her website

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Make sure you check out the many links to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*Review copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair review.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

42 thoughts on “Amanda In France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster

    • You are so welcome, Darlene. It’s always fun to see where Amanda goes next! Your series is limitless. I can see her in Alaska, Australia (you have fans there in Nora) India and so on. And, you’d have such a ball researching!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a great series! Students always ask me where have I traveled so I know they have an interest in seeing the world. Amanda and her travels are the perfect stepping stone to experience famous locales. Thanks for featuring your insightful review on MMGM.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Greg. When I visit schools, I notice that the students are very interested in my travels as well as Amanda’s. I recall as a grade three student we learned about Mexico and couldn’t wait to visit there as an adult. Everything I learned all those years ago, came back to me. I do hope my books encourage children to explore the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Darlene Foster's Blog and commented:
    Another awesome review of Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Patricia Tilton, along time Amanda fan. This review means a lot to me as Patricia reviews meaningful books, many topical showing diversity and modern issues that confront children today. Check out her blog for gift ideas for the young readers on your list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Darlene has ‘Done it again…’ which sounds slightly ominous, as if she’s been naughty and is about to be given ‘fifty lines, please!’ or a place in the corner. But I know different! The very opposite has occurred, and I’m not a bit surprised. I mean one can ‘t keep writing one successful book after another, without someone keeping score! I did a fair bit of travelling and had several adventures when very young, but the circumstances were very different (WW2). It did fuel my appetite to travel more though, which I did in later years. How lucky author Darlene’s Amanda has been to fan young reader’s curiosity to travel and, who knows, have adventures too! Well done Darlene on yet another exciting chapter from her life. My nieces are really looking forward to reading Amanda in France – Fire in the Cathedral! Congrats on a great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you that the Amanda series are great books for teens, Patricia. I love Amanda also. This new book would remind me of my travel to Paris. I hope to take a break from packing and moving to do some reading. Congratulations to Darlene for this wonderful review.

    Liked by 1 person

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