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Mary Casanova - Books for Young People
Cécile: Gates of Gold
written by Mary Casanova
illus. by Jean-Paul Tibbles
Pleasant Company, 2002
(HC) 978-1584855941
(LB) 978-0613462136
Cecile: Gates of Gold currently has limited availability.

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Cecile Gates of Gold from Autographed books!
Cécile: Gates of Gold
Book Description:
The Pleasant Company created a Cecile doll to accompany the book.

When twelve-year-old Cécile Revel is given the unexpected chance to serve at King Louis XIV's court, she is unprepared for what she finds there. She has long dreamed of life at court—of elegance and beauty, fine dresses, and an end to her constant hunger—but she never imagined how complicated— and dangerous—life at court would be. Faced with a test of conscience, Cécile shows that behaving in a noble matter has little to do with one's place at birth.

Reviews and Comments
The action builds steadily and will sustain readers' interest. A short history of France in the early 1700s and a glossary of French words are included. "American Girl" fans will be charmed by Cecile and her regal life.
—School Library Journal

The first marvel of the quintet is visual—the size of the books is instantly appealing. Heroines [are influenced by] significant female role models, nonmothers who are outside the boundaries of gender roles either by circumstance or choice. Cécile is sent away from her father to be a servant at Versailles, and there she meets an actual historical figure—the Duchesse d’Orleans, Elisabeth Charlotte, called simply Madame, whose letters inspired Mary Casanova to use her as a role model for the impressionable, smart, and motherless Cécile."These are wonderful, finely wrought testaments to courage, intellect, and persistence, not only for girls who happen to love beautiful dolls, but for anyone who loves outstanding books for children.
—Margaret Willey, Ruminator Review

  • Children's Book Sense 76 Pick, Winter 2002
  • National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA), 2002, Honors Award
  • Minnesota Book Award Finalist, 2003
A Note About Mary
Many of Casanova's early books grew from her experience in the north woods but more frequently now her writing takes her away from the north woods. Her love for times past has taken her to France where she conducted research for Curse of a Winter Moon, set in sixteenth century France. On a return trip to research a second book [Cécile: Gates of Gold] set in France, Casanova says she spent a week 'floating on the Grand Canal, exploring the passageways of the palace, and biking along the cobblestone streets.'

“More and more, I love the research piece of writing. Though I will do lots of research before I begin writing, I eventually grow impatient and need to start a book. While I write I'm surrounded by books related to my topic, whether it's eagles or 18th Century France.?

[Quoted with permission from "Author Profile: Mary Casanova" by Sharron L. McElmeel in Book Report May/June 2002, Vol. 21, Issue 1, p. 40-41.]

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