Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre by Clare Povey

Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month – September 2021

The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre is a wonderful romp through Paris with a charming bookish mystery. Dastardly villains who don’t care about anyone but themselves think they have a brilliant plan to ensure a terrible writer meets his looming deadlines. Bastien is determined to outsmart them all by daring to complete the story his parents left for him. He will find the story that is waiting to be told.

This is a fast-paced story of a writing community under threat. Bastien’s parents, highly-acclaimed authors, were killed in a fire and other authors are going missing. Everyone is afraid.

Meanwhile, Bastien has been sent to a terrible orphanage where he can hardly breathe without getting in trouble, let alone write in his notebook each night. He and his best friend, Theo, do what they can to lift the spirits of the other boys and save them all. Everyone deserves to have a story about them and Bastien is the boy to do it.

Themes of reading and books run through this beautiful tale. There is safety in the book shop and value in storytelling. So many aspects of the city of creativity and art are highlighted as Bastien and Theo explore the streets of Paris, taking their readers with them.

Thank you to Usborne Press for this fun and engaging book!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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