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The Mona Lisa Vanishes
The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity | Nicholas Day
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A propulsive work of narrative nonfiction about how the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre, how the robbery made the portrait the most famous artwork in the worldand how the painting by Leonardo da Vinci should never have existed at all. On a hot August day in Paris, just over a century ago, a desperate guard burst into the office of the director of the Louvre and shouted, La Joconde, cest partie! The Mona Lisa, shes gone! No one knew who was behind the heist. Was it an international gang of thieves? Was it an art-hungry American millionaire? Was it the young Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, who was about to remake the very art of painting? Travel back to an extraordinary period of revolutionary change: turn-of-the-century Paris. Walk its backstreets. Meet the infamous thievesand detectivesof the era. And then slip back further in time and follow Leonardo da Vinci, painter of the Mona Lisa, through his dazzling, wondrously weird life. Discover the secret at the heart of the Mona Lisathe most famous painting in the world should never have existed at all. Here is a middle-grade nonfiction, with black-and-white illustrations by Brett Helquist throughout, written at the pace of a thriller, shot through with stories of crime and celebrity, genius and beauty.
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Caryl
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Ever wonder why the Mona Lisa is so famous? Sure, it‘s a rare painting by Leonardo da Vinci, but its theft in 1911 brought it directly into the public eye and imagination. Nicholas Day alternates between the story of its unbelievable heist and the life of its incredible artist. I was especially impressed with how Day made connections to issues relevant then and now: conspiracy theories, myth vs. truth, and the importance of critical thinking.

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Sharpeipup
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“The myth was more persuasive than the truth. It was a better story. People will choose the better story every time.”

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Bette
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Informative. Funny. Improbable. Exciting. This was a blast to read.
If you are interested in the theft of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, Lisa Gherardini (the woman who posed), woman‘s rights, conspiracy theories, famous art thefts. Picasso, the invention of fingerprints, the Medcis, Gainsborough, the Borgias, monkeys, famous detectives, and fun illustrations…there is something for everyone in this Junior book. So fun.