The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity by Day, Nicholas

The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity

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A "witty thriller" (The New York Times) for middle-grade readers about how the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre, how the robbery made the portrait the most famous artwork in the world--and how the painting by Leonardo da Vinci should never have existed at all.

SIBERT MEDAL WINNER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Publishers Weekly - School Library Journal - Booklist - Kirkus Reviews - NPR - The New York Public Library - The Chicago Public Library - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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, c'est partie! The Mona Lisa, she's 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 thieves--and detectives--of 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 Lisa--the 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.

Author: Nicholas Day
Publisher: Random House Studio
Published: 09/05/2023
Pages: 288
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.15lbs
Size: 9.20h x 6.20w x 1.20d
ISBN: 9780593643846
Audience: Ages 9-12

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 6.3
Point Value: 7
Interest Level: Middle Grade
Quiz #/Name: 523084 / Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity

Award: Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award - Winner

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 07/01/2023
Publishers Weekly 07/10/2023
Booklist 07/01/2023 pg. 56
Horn Book Magazine 09/01/2023 pg. 93
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks 10/01/2023
School Library Journal 09/29/2023 pg. 1

About the Author
NICHOLAS DAY is the author of Baby Meets World, a work of narrative nonfiction for adults about the science and history of infancy, which Mary Roach called "a perfect book." He has written regularly for Slate; his work has also appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among other publications. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his family.

BRETT HELQUIST is the illustrator of classics such as A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, The House of Bunnicula by James Howe, and books by Blue Balliet, including the New York Times bestselling Chasing Vermeer. Visit him on the Web at or on Instagram at @bhelquist.