Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice, by Kathleen Benner Duble | Book Review
By Kathleen Benner Duble
Age Range: 12 and up
Hardcover: 223 pages
Publisher: Merit Press (2014)
What to expect: Historical Fiction, French Revolution, Romance, Suspense
Celie is a starving orphan making her way on the dirty, dangerous streets of pre-revolutionary Paris. Algernon, her friend and crush, is her partner in crime. Together they run scams on the rich to make enough money to stave of starvation. But, Celie is no ordinary vagrant. She has a secret, hidden artistic talent that combines drawing and a photographic memory. And when she and Algernon are caught scamming the wrong rich person, her artistic ability becomes her savior. Madame Tussaud, the famous wax figurine artist, steps in to save her. In exchange for her drawing services, Madame Tussaud will give Celie a warm bed, food and a roof over her head. She’ll even give Algernon a job.
Sounds perfect, right? Except this is the time of the French Revolution—when people are starving in the streets, the royal court is pretending the peasants don’t exist, and Madame Tussaud is caught in the middle. Celie is whisked away to the glamorous court at Versailles while Algernon secretly helps in the movement to overthrow the royals. Before she knows it, there are riots in the streets, public beheadings and terror around every corner. Who can she trust? Can Madame Tussaud keep her safe? Will Algernon be lost to her forever to the Revolution? Will she survive with her head intact?
Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice is a fascinating historical drama. The rich background of revolutionary France provides readers with a fascinating look at that terrifying time. Celie and Algernon’s star-crossed love is poignant and gripping, as is the sympathy Celie has for the royals themselves. Nothing is black and white in this story, and readers will find that sometimes the villains and heroes are not always who you think they should be.
About the Author
Kathleen Benner Duble wrote eight award-winning children’s books beforeMadame Tussaud’s Apprentice. All of her books involved some research, but only this one took her to Paris!
For more information, visit: KathleenDuble.com
Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice: An Untold Story of Love in the French Revolution, by Kathleen Benner Duble, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Follow along with our Teen Romance Books tag, as well as our Young Adult Books category, to discover more great novels.