Celebrate Bastille Day with French Authors and Themed Novels!

Tomorrow is Bastille Day! To commemorate this day check out some French authors who have had their titles for teen readers published in the US and teen novels that center on French culture and history. Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!

French Authors

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No and Me by Delphine de Vigan (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Life as It Comes by Anne-Laure Bondoux

Vango by Timothée de Fombelle (2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)

When I was a Soldier by Valérie Zenatti (2006 Best Books for Young Adults)

Winter’s End by Jean-Claude Morlevat

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn

Last Man, Vol. 1: The Stranger by Balak, Sanlaville, Vivés


Set in Paris

AnnaFrenchKissCoverdieformeBeautifulAmericansMarie Antoinette Serial KillerStarryNightsGadgetGirlJustoneDayCoverBandette

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (2012 Readers’ Choice, 2012 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender (2015 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers)

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Gadget Girl: the art of being invisible by Suzanne Kamata

Just One Day by Gayle Forman (2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Bandette in Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (2014 Great Graphic Novels)


Historical Fiction Set in France

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page MorganDarknessStrangeLovelyRevolutionCoverBelleEpoqueCoverPaleAssassinthe rednecklacecoverUnderWarnTornSkySovayGraveMercyBlueFlameRevolutionofSabine

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (2011 Odyssey Honor Audiobook, 2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2011 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross (2014 Morris Award Finalist)

The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliott

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner (2009 Best Books for Young Adults)

Under a War Torn Sky by L.M. Elliott

Sovay by Celia Rees

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (2013 Teen Top Ten Nominee, 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Blue Flame by K.M. Grant

The Revolution of Sabine by Beth Levine Ain


–Colleen Seisser, currently reading Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Bastille Day 2014

by Flickr user Yann Caradec
photo by Flickr user Yann Caradec

Today is Bastille Day – a French holiday commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution in the late eighteenth century. On this date in 1789, crowds stormed a prison known as the Bastille, broke it open, and released the prisoners inside. Since the prison was symbolic of the powers of the king, its fall marked the beginning of the revolution, and the downfall of the monarchy.

If you are interested in viewing this part of French history through fiction, or if you are simply a Francophile and enjoy any stories set in “Marianne,” there are many wonderful books to choose from. Grab a café au lait and a croissant, get comfortable, and consider any of these half dozen titles to get you started.

RevolutionCoverRevolution by Jennifer Donnelly (2011 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults)
Andi is a modern day New York teen, forced to spend her winter break in Paris with her father. She’s angry at the world after the death of her little brother, and nothing seems to be able to get her to care about anything. While in Paris, Andi finds a journal belonging to a young actress named Alexandrine and finds comfort in its words. Alexandrine won’t mind her privacy being invaded – she lived more than 200 years ago, during the French Revolution. As Andi reads about Alexandrine’s struggles, she feels herself growing closer to the actress until one night, their two personalities seem to merge. Has Andi traveled through time?

Just One Day by Gayle FormanJustoneDayCover
Allyson is at the end of her three week, post-graduation trip in Europe. She’s a meticulous, careful, thoughtful person and her trip has been the same – well planned, not a detail left to chance. When she meets Willem, a lively, itinerant actor, and he invites her to spend a day with him in Paris, she should say no. This is not on her itinerary! But Allyson says yes, and has an amazing 24 hour adventure with Willem in the City of Lights; romantic, risky, fun, exciting, and challenging. Maybe breaking out of her careful plans is the best thing that could happen to her.

the rednecklacecoverThe Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
An unusual group of people band together during the French Revolution. Yann, a young, gypsy orphan works for a magician, along with Tetu, a dwarf who is Yann’s guardian. When the magician is murdered, and Yann’s life is threatened, Tetu and Yann should flee France. But the Revolution is beginning, and a lovely young noble woman to whom Yann is attached, Sido, is in danger, precluding his escape from the Terror.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults)AnnaFrenchKissCover
A fun love-story that includes wonderful descriptions of the City Of Lights and life within it. Anna is very upset at her father for sending her to a Parisian boarding school for her senior year. But after she meets the charming Etienne, she thinks life in Paris might not be so bad after all. It’s a pity Etienne has a girlfriend…  Continue reading Bastille Day 2014