From School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-In this sequel to Lost in Paris (Sourcebooks, 2012), Mira, her brother, and their father receive a cryptic message from their mother, who is still hidden somewhere in the fabric of time on a secret mission. Mira's gift for time travel transports her to 16th-century Rome through touchstones, though she still can't seem to control how or when, and she hobnobs with famous artists like Caravaggio and his forward-thinking circle of philosophers and scientists. Moss's writing is conversational, accessible, and engaging. Small sketches dot the pages, adding to the book's charm and appeal. The historical figures are given genuine voices, and Rome's present and past topography leaps off the pages. Struggling readers within the book's target audience may find the blend of real and fictional characters, the fast-paced jumps between the present and past, and the theories of time and space confusing. Mira's Jewish heritage and stance against anti-Semitism are only briefly mentioned in the story, unlike in Lost in Paris, where they help drive the narrative. Readers will continue to root for Mira, an intelligent, creative, and vulnerable protagonist with strong convictions to do what is right.-Elly Schook, Jamieson Elementary School, Chicagoα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In the second volume of the Mira’s Diary series, a postcard from her time-traveling mom sends Mira, her brother, and her father to Rome. Traveling back in time to 1600, Mira meets the artist Caravaggio as well as the philosopher-astronomer Giordano Bruno. Although the enigmatic, disquieting messages from Mom propel the plot forward, her time-travel story goes unexplained. Moss’ research is evident, even without the appended bibliography, but since the historical characters are unconvincing, the past never really comes alive on the page. Small ink drawings, purportedly from Mira’s sketchbook, are a pleasant addition to the first-person narrative. For larger collections. Grades 4-7. --Carolyn Phelan