Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: April 5, 2011
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure. After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic! Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?"
Louise is a dreamer by nature, a budding vintage clothing enthusiast and, overall, your average 7th grader. Louise's life is pretty ordinary until she receives an invitation to a vintage fashion sale at a store in her suburban neighborhood. Of course Louise, being a fashion aficionado, attends the sale in order to find the perfect dress for the upcoming 7th grade dance. As Louise is trying on a beautiful vintage dress, she finds herself transported to a 1912 luxury ship. Louise thinks of the possibilities since she is now in the body of a famous actress! Just as she is starting to enjoy herself and the luxury, she finds out she isn't on just any ship. She's on the Titanic! Bianca Turetsky's new middle grade novel, The Time-Traveling Fashionista, is a such an adorable read that combines the perfect mix of fantasy and historical fiction.
If you are like Louise and a fan of fashion, you will enjoy this book. Turetsky's attention to detail and the description of clothing was spot on. Not only did Turetsky's details bring the time period to life, but the novel also included pictures of the various fashions. This truly added that special touch and even though I was reading the ARC and the pictures weren't in color, they still helped me to visualize the various fashion ensembles that Turetsky was describing. I know my middle school readers would get a kick out of this.
We must discuss middle school students and their obsession with all things Titanic. I have a few students currently researching this very topic for a research paper. I think my middle school female students will love this book, not only for the fashion, but for the Titanic as well. I guess since they are so young they can't remember or connect with the movie (and consequently missed out on Celine Dion's annoying and overplayed ballad) and it all seems new to them. Turtesky is smart to set The Time-Traveling Fashionista on the Titanic as I have noticed a definite renewed interest in it.
While I was reading The Time-Traveling Fashionista, I had to keep in mind that the audience is middle grade, because from time to time I felt the plot was very no-frills in comparison to some novels I'd read recently; however, there's no denying that this is a fun, lighthearted read that would be perfect for the beach this summer.
In fact, I've read that Turetsky is working on the next novel in the series which will take Louise to the French Revolution, which is another exciting time period. There's no doubt in my mind that my middle school female students will fall in love with Louise and her fashion-filled adventure.
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