From Paris to Austria, now on the trail of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Amy, Dan and Nellie have found a piece of his music, KV617, which was written for Ben Franklin’s glass harp. On the Train the one-family-Olympic team, the Holts attack the trio for the clue. They travel from Austria to Venice, not only looking for Mozart, but also his elder sister Nannerl. This is a fast paced adventure perfect for younger children and parents alike. I DO have one BIG problem with this installment. Author Gordon Korman has seen to it that a libelous myth is perpetuated into a new generation.
The Cahills discover that they are related to the last and most famous French Queen: Marie Antoinette. On page 150 we see a note that Grace has written . It reads “ The word that cost her life minus the music”. Anyone who knows anything about the deceased Queen would think this would refer to ‘deficit’. If so the clue would be ‘iit’. Doesn’t make much sense does it? Instead he uses the word ‘gateau’—French for cake, referring to the infamous quote “Let them eat cake’ which for centuries has been miss-attributed to the kind-hearted French queen who never would have said such a thing. The quote was also put into the mouth of Mary Stuart of Scotland.
For the sake of the plot, and the next clue Korman defames a great woman and ingrains this falsehood for a new generation. When will Queen Josephine of France’s horrible comment die?! When will popular fiction and history books STOP slandering this poor dead woman who only wanted to live a normal life with her husband and children.