Mira’s Diary: Home Sweet Rome

April 2013


As if traveling to a new country in search of her missing mother weren’t difficult enough, Mira has to do it dressed as a boy. In a different century. A new postcard from her time–traveling mother points Mira to the 16th century Rome. But before she can rescue her mom, she must follow the clues left around the city to find Giordano Bruno, a famous thinker and mathematician, who discovered something so shocking that important Italian officials don’t want it revealed. All the while avoiding the Watchers–time–traveling police who want Mira back in her own time. It’s another whirlwind adventure for Mira, and this time she is determined to bring her mother out of the past.

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Time–traveler Mira returns in a perilous mission involving the Renaissance, the Inquisition and banned books. When Mira receives another postcard from the past, she knows her mother–who continues to journey through time in an attempt to prevent a disastrous, potential future event–needs Mira’s help. This sequel follows the established format of the previous tale (Lost in Paris, 2012): Mira must decipher messages left by her mother regarding a historical person and event while moving in and out of various moments in time. Transported to Rome in 1595 during the Inquisition, Mira determines that she must aid Giordano Bruno, a scholarly monk soon to be condemned for heresy. Before long, Mira is masquerading as a boy, transcribing Bruno’s book for a prominent cardinal and mingling with the painter Caravaggio. Moss’ elaborate descriptions evoke Italy during the Renaissance era, detailing the architecture and the art as well as providing small vignettes of everyday life. She also introduces another element of intrigue to the series when Mira discovers Bruno is a fellow time traveler. Devastated after witnessing Bruno’s execution, Mira feels compelled to preserve Bruno’s ideas for the future, devising a daring plan to save his writings. Mira’s latest quest leaves readers pondering what other discoveries in the past await this dauntless time traveler. (author’s note, bibliography) (Fantasy. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews)