Book Review: Amanda in France – Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster (Amanda Travels Adventure Book 9) #childrensbooks #kidslit

I was delighted to hear that Darlene Foster had written another exciting adventure in the Amanda Travels series – and this time it is set in Paris, one of my favourite cities. It’s available now for pre-order, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive an advance copy for my honest review.

The Amanda Travels series is ideal for children aged about 8 – 12 years. If you’re looking for an exciting children’s adventure series set in fascinating places around the world, then I can’t recommend this highly enough.

I travelled to Paris a few months after the terrible fire in Notre Dame, and also saw the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop that features so heavily in the book. So, I hope you will indulge me – I couldn’t resist the chance to include two of my own travel photos here:


Notre Dame Cathedral – with damaged roof



Shakespeare and Company Bookshop

What Darlene Foster says about Amanda in France

For two years travel was limited. For a time we couldn’t even leave our yard, except to walk the dogs. For many of us, this was hard. But as a writer, I was fortunate as I was able to escape. And I decided to escape to one of my favourite places, France. So I call Amanda in France my pandemic book. Not because there is anything in it about the pandemic but because I wrote it during that time. I like to think it helped get me through a stressful time. 

I had visited Notre Dame Cathedral a year before the fire and was awestruck. When I watched the coverage of the fire on TV, I was upset and decided this event needed to be included in the story. In the end, it became the focal point, seen from the point of view of a twelve-year-old. 

Thank you so much for your review, Toni. I am delighted that you enjoyed the story. 

What Amazon Says

Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, while being drawn into the mystery surrounding the destructive fire of Notre Dame cathedral.

Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time something bad happens?

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, all the time looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic cathedral.

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets and sites around Paris, all the while looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic place.

Be sure to read all the books in this exciting Amanda Travels series!
1. Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask
2. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting
3. Amanda in England: The Missing Novel
4. Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
5. Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
6. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind
7. Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action
8. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
8. Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral

Available at all Amazon outlets including: Amazon US

My Review

5 stars – an exciting mystery set in Paris

Amanda in Paris is the ninth book in the Amanda Travels series, and it is an exciting way for children aged about 8-12 to learn about Paris. In this instalment, Amanda travels to Paris with her best friend, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. Their accommodation is a hostel above the well-known Shakespeare and Company Bookshop, where writers can stay for free in return for helping in the bookshop. That puts them right across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral.

It doesn’t take long for them to fall in love with Paris, as they explore all the highlights, and venture further afield to the Palace of Versailles and Monet’s glorious garden in Giverny. But they soon face danger and become drawn into a mystery, and it is always tied in with the places they visit. There’s a bomb threat when they attend the Paris Opera House, and later they see the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Amanda is determined to solve the mystery surrounding the fire and the strange characters who seem to be involved. She’s never been afraid to face danger, but she’ll need all her courage this time.

This book is the perfect way to introduce young people to Paris, and the mystery and adventure will have them turning the pages right to the end. I love the concept of this series, and will be giving it to my grandchildren when they’re a couple of years older. It would also be excellent for anyone who is learning English and wants to try a very easy-to-read novel.

I give Amanda in Paris a well-deserved 5 stars. Thank you very much to the publishers for an advance reader copy (ARC) of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster grew up on a ranch in Alberta, Canada, where her love of reading inspired her to see the world and write stories. She is the author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old girl who loves to travel. All ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, Darlene enjoys spending time with her family in Canada and at her house in Spain with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia.

Darlene Foster’s other books

Foster Books

You can find Darlene Foster here:

Amazon Author Page


Thank you for stopping by. My name is Toni Pike, a multi-genre author who loves writing thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children.



I’m also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips.

All my books can be found HERE.

You can find me online here:


Amazon author page: Toni Pike

Instagram: @authorlovestravel  – Sharing my travel photos from around the world

Facebook: Toni Pike – Author


Twitter:  @piketoni1

Linkedin Toni Pike – Linkedin


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35 thoughts on “Book Review: Amanda in France – Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster (Amanda Travels Adventure Book 9) #childrensbooks #kidslit

  1. dgkaye

    Loved this post and your addition of your beautiful photos too Toni. Congrats to Darlene for the review and for coming out with another wonderful addition to her Amanda series. Hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Miriam Hurdle

    It’s delightful to see your photos in France added to this review, Toni! I always enjoy reading your fantastic reviews. This one is no exception. I love the Amanda book and will read this one soon. . I’ve been to Paris and this book will remind me of my travel.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. olganm

    I love the sound of this collection, Toni, and although I don’t know any children of that age, your suggestion of a good book for English learners might work, as I tend to do some English teaching every so often. Congratulations to Darlene on another great addition to the series, and thanks for sharing your pics as well (I also visited shortly after the devastating Notre Dame fire).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Darlene

    Reblogged this on Darlene Foster's Blog and commented:
    Another great review for Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Toni Pike. Toni is a multi-genre Australian author who enjoys writing page-turning fiction for adults, hilarious books for children, and non-fiction. Please check out her blog and her books. I am so delighted that readers all over the world are enjoying my latest book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kirt D Tisdale

    Awesome review Toni!! I love Darlene’s Amanda series and like you will be making sure my grandchildren read this and the entire series when they get a little older (2 months, 3 years and 5 years)!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. D. Wallace Peach

    What a great review, Toni. It adds so much that you’ve been there and can relate to the places and events in the book. (I had the same experience when Amanda went to Holland). 🙂 Darlene’s Amanda books are great for kids and adults. Congrats to Darlene on another wonderful review.

    Liked by 1 person


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