Book review: Trace


by Pat Cummings

Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Middle Grade
320 pages


Author’s website

Buy the book

I entered this giveaway thinking of offering the book to a member of my book club. I won the book! When Trace arrived, it got me curious, and I ended up devouring it before giving it to my friend! I rarely use juvenile fiction, but this one is definitely worth it.

Trace lost his parents in a car accident, by drowning. He now lives with his aunt.
One day, he gets lost in New York Public library.

He nodded at Patience and Fortitude, the massive marble lions on either side of the steps. When he had told Aunt Lea that he planned to meet his study group after seeing Dr. Proctor, she had told him the lions’ names and asked that he give them her regards. Trace wondered why people said that. What were  regards? For that matter, why were twin lions outside of a library? To guard it? Who were they protecting it from… crazed readers? The way they stared down their noses at the crowd jostling along Fifth Avenue, Trace thought they might be better named Bored and Snooty.
Page 42

He ends up in old stacks in the basement, supposedly inaccessible to the public. There, he finds a strange little 4 year-old sobbing.Then a repair man tells him he’s also met “the ghost”.

I usually don’t read stories with mentions of “a ghost”, but this one was very well done, with lots of interesting layers, including some pertaining to history.

I found it an inspiring story, with good elements on relationships between people of different generations.

Plus there’s a lot of good food, especially Mexican and Greek, including the delicious galaktoboureko!
This is a debut novel, very promising. You should try it.

Oh, and I forgot: the cover is awesome!!

VERDICT: Sometimes, even ghost stories can be inspiring!

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Any other good middle grade book?



6 thoughts on “Book review: Trace

  1. Thanks for such a thoughtful review! I’m collecting reviews for a marketing project one of my publishers is doing and found your blog. I LOVE that you’ve put together a list of books set in France. My last picture book, Beauty and the Beast, was actually translated from the original French. I couldn’t do it…but my husband who was once a diplomat stationed in France did. The original stories were sixty some pages long and B&B was only a fragment of the story. It was fascinating. Anyway, very glad to have found your blog. And delighted that you enjoyed Trace.


    • thanks for stopping by! When you refer to a list of books set in France, you may be referring to France Book Tours, this is actually my virtual book tour company. So in case you publish another book translated from the French or set in France, I would be most happy helping you market it. I’m actually French native, and a French translator, so I can also translate your book in French


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