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Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris (Mira's Diary #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  323 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Mira is shocked when she receives a postcard from her missing mother from Paris. Her father decides it's time for a trip to France to search for her. While visiting Notre Dame, Mira touches a gargoyle and is whirled into the past. There she meets the famous painter Degas and catches a brief, shocking glimpse of her mother. Mira begins to suspect that her mom didn't run out ...more
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
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Jan 28, 2016 Terryann rated it really liked it
MOSS, Marissa. Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris. 205p. Source Books. Sept 2012. ISBN: 9781402266065. $12.99. F.

Gr 7-9
Gr 7-9-This first book in an exciting series by a trusted "diary" author is history plus mystery, along with a little romance tossed in. When Mira gets a mysterious postcard from her missing mother, she's angry. Where has she been? Why did she leave? Her ecstatic father, on the other hand, flies her and her brother to Paris in hopes of finding his wife. At Notre Dame, Mira discovers th
Aug 13, 2012 Breda rated it liked it
Cute, and a great introduction for kids who might be interested in art or France but don't know much yet. It felt a little bit too educational with not enough heft for adult readers: I was disappointed, given how much I'd loved the Amelia series in my American Girl days. Moss's art is still lively but less witty, and the plot felt a bit scattershot. I would've preferred less jumping back-and-forth through time and a more focused narrative. But as an introduction to time travel for middle grade r ...more
The Bumble Girl {Margie}
Oct 12, 2012 The Bumble Girl {Margie} rated it really liked it
What a surprising little time-traveling gem! I did not expect this "diary" to go the way that it did! Marissa Moss really knows her readers and how to tell a story fluently in journal form.

I was a bit surprised at the fact that Moss had chosen to dive into the 19th century Paris, France, surrounded by French artists and well into France's politics too. As much as the time-traveling was the main concern of the main character, the story focuses on intolerance and political corruption. At times, i
Sep 24, 2012 Angelc rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars

I loved this book for many reasons. I think it's great that a middle grade book is actively teaching young people about history, art, and tolerance all at the same time.

I loved the main message of the book, and that is tolerance. I hadn't heard of the Dreyfus Affair before, Dreyfus being accused of ugly crimes in 19th century France simply because he was Jewish. But I think that tolerance and acceptance is something that needs to be addressed in our society today. There is also a great
Oct 24, 2012 Cait rated it liked it
Originally posted at Escape Through the Pages with a 3.5 rating.

MIRA'S DIARY: LOST IN PARIS by Marissa Moss is a smart middle grade novel that contains an interesting method of time travel, good character voice and a great take on history.

Mira’s mother has disappeared without a word, until a postcard arrives in the mail from France. Determined to find her, Mira, her brother and their father set out for Paris – where Mira finds her mother, but a whole lot of trouble as well. Transported back to n
Margo Tanenbaum
In Mira's Diary, Moss creates a time travel story melding the exciting artistic world of 19th century Paris with the shocking political intrigue and anti-Semitism of the infamous Dreyfus affair. Although the Dreyfus affair is well known to those interested in French history, it's certainly not a topic most young people in the U.S. will be at all familiar with, and I applaud Moss for choosing to set her story around this important tale of corruption and scapegoats.

Our story begins when young Mir
Ms. Yingling
Sep 20, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
When Mira's family gets a postcard from her mother, who has disappeared, they all decide to go there, since the father has conveniently gotten a fellowship there. Mira hopes to find her mother, and she does... but only after she travels back in time to 1881. She meets Claude, who offers to help her find a place to stay. He is working with a group of artists, so Mira ends up at Mary Cassat's. She has limited contact from her mother, who tells her that she is a time traveler, must follow certain r ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Justin rated it really liked it
This book is really fun, it is fairly light while still having some tough elements. I was really impressed with the authors ability to capture the feel of the different times throughout the books seeing as it does involve time travel after all. Granted it only spans the course of a few years, you do notice subtle little changes as you're reading. I also really liked all the fun illustrations that are in the book, it's always enjoyable when books have a visual aid to go along with the story. Help ...more
Dorine White
Sep 30, 2012 Dorine White rated it it was ok
Mira's Diary-Lost in Paris, is the first in a new middle grade series written by Marissa Moss and published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.

The Story-
Mira's mom disappeared six months ago, and hasn't been heard from since. But, on June 11 a postcard from Paris arrives, signed by her mother. Along with her brother Malcolm and their dad, the family travels to France to look for their missing mom.

They head to where the postcard was taken, Notre Dame cathedral. When Mira touches a gargoyle, she suddenly
Debbie Graham
Oct 02, 2012 Debbie Graham rated it it was ok
Very very brave to tackle the Dreyfus affair in a kid's book which may explain some of the problems..the politics and background are just too complex for target readers who won't have a clue about many of the 'players' Some cool elements (touchstones) but overall very uneven. Why try to tell this story from a time travel standpoint...leads to too many elements that just don't seem plausible (if time travel can't be controlled why does she ever end up at close to the "right" time/place). Mira nev ...more
Ashley ♡
Oct 03, 2012 Ashley ♡ rated it it was amazing
This book was a wonderful mix of non fiction and fiction. A great book to read on a rainy day.
Feb 16, 2013 Sonia rated it liked it
If you're looking for an enjoyable MG with a little bit of everything -- time travel, culture, history, romance -- look no further! Mira's Diary is a fun and charming trip to Paris that you'll be able to race through in no time.

What starts off for the main character Mira as a trip to Paris to find her mysteriously missing mother quickly turns into a whirlwind of an adventure as she tries to shape the future and hide her identity. I can't say that I was familiar with most of the history and infor
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A finished copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Mira, our main character is sent off on a family trip to Paris, France with her father and brother Malcom. The reason? Her mother has sent them a postcard stating she’s sightseeing, and having a marvelous time, so Mira’s father decides to take the entire family on a trip. What Mira finds in France isn’t just French baguettes, and art, she stumbles upon political intrigue, a mystery, and gets stuck in a period in time where Antisemitism is
Chapter by Chapter
Oct 20, 2012 Chapter by Chapter rated it liked it
At a first glance, I didn’t really know what to expect from Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris. I mean, the title did give me a hint and since I went into the novel with a brief idea of the synopsis, I had no idea what I would find in the contents of the novel. It’s no secret that it appears to be a middle-grade novel and since I’m more used to the YA scene, I gotta admit I was a bit hesitant. But after reading the opening sentence I was already sure that this would be an intriguing read.

Mira’s Diary (
Oct 22, 2012 LadyTechie rated it really liked it
I received my copy of Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris from Source Books. When I was introduced to Mira’s Diary by Source Book’s publicity intern and I read the synopsis I thought it was fortuitous that they would offer me a chance to read/review this book right after my return from Paris, France. It was wonderful being able to visualize the different places I visited as I read through Mira's Diary. I only had one issue and that was that the book packed a lot of detail in a short read. There was enou ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Nafiza rated it it was ok
I am somewhat hesitant to review this book because I feel like I read it from a very adult perspective and therefore will not accurately be able to say whether a middle-grader (who are the intended audience) will enjoy it. The novel is a first in what seems to be a series and we start off with very interesting family dynamics. Mira’s mother is missing – they thought she had been kidnapped/killed/etc because she did not leave any letter or forwarding address or anything that would let the family ...more
Full review at:

I was enthralled by this smart, yet still accessible middle grade novel. Once I began it, I did not want to put it down. I cannot wait for the next book which I hope will be in my hands sooner than later.

The book was not only packed with an interesting concept (Mira and her mother travel through time to try to right wrongs that haven't happened yet), but the book was filled with information about late 19th century Paris, French history and
Nov 10, 2012 Kris rated it liked it
Shelves: books-reviewed

Back in my middle school days, I went through a historical fiction phase. The vast majority of them were set in the medieval period, but history has always fascinated me. Especially when it involves time travel. I'm pretty sure that I would freak out if I were really to find myself in a foreign place and time. I wouldn't know the first thing to do to trick everyone into thinking that I belong in their time period. Still, I can't help but wonder how awesome it'd be to time travel, and Mira gets t
The Library Lady
Simply awful and,as they'd say back home in the Bronx, pure mishegosse (nonsense).

The time traveling thing is not believable. How can Mira keep turning up in different years and no one can tell she's the same age? Why is it everyone believes all her stories and instantly offers her friendship and a roof over her head?

And why oh why oh WHY does no one who time travels ever end up meeting no one famous in history? Realize that the whole point of this book is L'Affaire Dreyfus, but really...

Shelley Daugherty
Dec 13, 2012 Shelley Daugherty rated it really liked it
Mira's mother has been gone for some time, and no one knows where she went, but one day a postcard arrives from their mother which leads them to believe she is in Paris. Mira, her brother Malcolm and her father all set off to Paris hoping they will find her, but Mira finds much more than she ever thought.

When they are on the observation deck of a building, which was pictured on the postcard, Mira touches the gargoyle and then suddenly is swept back in time to Paris of 1881. While it takes her s
Dec 20, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Adorable book...the first of a very good series that combines history with time travel. Great for middle grade readers-both boys and girls...maybe the next read aloud?

"Mira is shocked when she receives a postcard from her missing mother from Paris. Her father decides it's time for a trip to France to search for her. While visiting Notre Dame, Mira touches a gargoyle and is whirled into the past. There she meets the famous painter Degas and catches a brief, shocking glimpse of her mother. Mira be
Jan 03, 2013 Patty rated it it was amazing
Mira's Diary
Marissa Moss

My "in a nutshell" summary...

Mira's mom goes off on an adventure and does Mira!

My thoughts during and after the reading of this book...

It's lovely...full of history and adventure and time travel. I loved this time traveling adventure...Mira touches a weird gargoyle and goes back in time to 1881. I should preface this by saying that Mira, her brother and father are in Paris...their mom has slipped away and they are there to follow her clues and find her. Mira d
Sandra Bornstein
Apr 26, 2013 Sandra Bornstein rated it really liked it
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Colorado Council International Reading Association (CCIRA) in Denver. I had the distinct pleasure of listening to one of Marissa Moss’ talks that included a discussion of her book, Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris. Despite my interest in Jewish children’s books, I was unfamiliar with her writing and was pleasantly surprised by the information that she shared. To date, Marissa has authored and illustrated over fifty children’s books. She is best known for the Amel ...more
Stephanie Ziegler
Mar 14, 2013 Stephanie Ziegler rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Adults That Love Art
Mira's Mom has disappeared. No one has any idea why she is gone or where she is. Mira's Dad says Mom loves her and her brother and she will come back someday. After six months, Mira finds a Paris-themed postcard in the mail stating that she needed to figure things out.

On the same day, Mira's Dad finds out he received a grant to photograph the wonders of the world and he is taking the kids along for the ride. With the arrival of the postcard, first stop - Paris! Hoping they will find their Mom,
Jul 28, 2013 Kat rated it really liked it
When Mira's mother disappears unexpectedly, her whole family was shocked. No one knows where she went, and no one knows whether she's been kidnapped or killed or just ran away with another man. Now Mira, her dorky brother Malcolm, and her dad (who gets to travel around the world for a year as a photographer to take pictures of the Wonders of the World) get a mysterious postcard, and it's from Mira's mother!! Mira and her family travel to Paris and Mira starts to search for her mother. Only to fi ...more
Jennifer Rayment
Apr 11, 2013 Jennifer Rayment rated it liked it
The Good Stuff

The covers are adorable and I bet many will pick this up based on that alone
Storyline is fast paced and funny at times
Honestly I would love to have her gift. To be able to experience Paris with artists both in the past and present would be a mind blowing
Kids will learn a little about art, history antisemitism in an age appropriate way - in other words not as boring as in history classes (trust me - when I was that age I had crappy art and history teachers - thank goodness when
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kylie Houck
Jan 30, 2014 Kylie Houck rated it it was amazing
I chose to give Marissa Moss’s Mira’s Diary a five star rating because throughly enjoyed reading it. I read many other books over the break and in this new semester but I thought Mira’s Diary was one of the best. It is about a young preteen girl named Mira taking place in Paris. It is a very easy read that is not long and captivates your attention. Throughout the book there is many plot changes and twists that you definitely don't expect. Mira’s character development is exceptional she starts of ...more
I get excited when I see historical fiction about France - especially when it's a middle-grade book that introduces readers to a lesser known part of French history. Marissa Moss (author of the Amelia's Notebook series that I LOVED as a kid) brings readers a new series that centers around time-travel. Mira's mother abruptly disappears from the family, leaving behind just a postcard from Paris. The family goes to Paris to find her and while in the Notre Dame cathedral, Mira touches a gargoyle and ...more
I was interested in this "Mira's Diary" because it's a YA time travel book concerned with Jewish history. The basic premise: after Mira and her family receive a mysterious old postcard of a gargoyle on Notre Dame in Paris from Mira's inexplicably absent mother, Mira and her father and brother go to Paris in search of her. During their first outing, to Notre Dame, Mira touches one of its gargoyles and finds herself transported to the late 19th century (decked out in period garb and everything) an ...more
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Who is Marissa Moss anyway?

I’ve been making children’s books for a looooong time. I sent my first picture book to publishers when I was nine, but it wasn’t very good and they didn’t publish it. I didn’t try again until I was a grown-up and then it took five years of sending out stories, getting them rejected, revising them and sending them back over and over until I got my first book. Now I’ve pub
More about Marissa Moss...

Other Books in the Series

Mira's Diary (4 books)
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  • Mira's Diary: Bombs Over London (Mira's Diary, #3)
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