Mona Lisa's Ghost

Lucy Nightingale, Book 2

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
214 Pages
Reviewed on 10/24/2017
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Author Biography

Nancy Kunhardt Lodge is a former professor of Renaissance Art History, with a Masters in Classics and a PhD in Art History. She has taught at universities in the U.S. and Italy. As a graduate student, she was awarded Rockefeller and Armand Hammer Fellowship Awards. She is the granddaughter of Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt, author of Pat the Bunny, still the best-selling baby book of all time, and cousin of six-time Emmy winner Peter Kunhardt. She was inspired to write Mona Lisa’s Ghost when in 2004, the Louvre Museum scanned the Mona Lisa in order to measure the paint layers. This became the jumping off point for a mystery about how the fantastic landscape and Lisa are affected by the scan. She thought how wonderful it would be to enter the painting at the horizon line, it becomes one of Lucy’s most dangerous adventures. The third inspiration was Einstein’s theory of consciousness-based reality. This is a journey into the power of the human mind, a lesson in learning to look beyond the surface to a person’s essence, as Leonardo’s did in his painting, and the importance of original thought. Both this book and The Crystal Navigator have been published in Spain. The publisher made video trailers for both. Here’s Mona Lisa’s Ghost.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Mona Lisa's Ghost: Lucy Nightingale, Book 2 is a science fiction and fantasy novel for children and preteens written by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge. Who stole the Mona Lisa from its secure location in the Louvre, leaving no traces of the theft? Lucy Nightingale and her science-geek best friend, Sam Winter, formed the SLARP, otherwise known as Sam and Lucy’s Anomalies Research Project, to solve exactly this kind of mystery. Lucy had a particular fondness for this picture, as well as its brilliant creator, as a result of her adventures in the first book in this series, The Crystal Navigator. So when her teacher showed her class the video about the Mona Lisa being restored to its place in the Louvre, after having been studied with a Spectrographic Scanner, Lucy was stunned to see the changes that had occurred to the picture. The golden-toned backdrop had been replaced with an angry purple sky that bristled with lightning bolts. Lisa, herself, was in tears, and when Lucy looked even more closely at her eyes, she could swear there were letters in Lisa’s eyes. What had happened? Lucy was determined to find out and try to reverse the damage which seemed to be worsening before her very eyes.

Nancy Kunhardt Lodge’s science fiction and fantasy novel for children, Mona Lisa's Ghost: Lucy Nightingale, Book 2, is a beautifully written, imaginative and action-packed adventure story that just happens to have one of the most intriguing young heroes I’ve come across -- and I’m thrilled to see that she’s a girl. The relationship between Sam and Lucy is marvelous, and it comes quite close to that between Q and agent 007 in Ian Fleming’s iconic James Bond series. I love seeing what new device Sam dreams up, and then getting to see Lucy use it in the field is grand fun. This time-traveling series educates as it entertains, and while it’s geared toward a younger audience, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who enjoys thought-provoking and mind-expanding science fiction adventure tales. Mona Lisa's Ghost: Lucy Nightingale, Book 2 is most highly recommended.

Mamta Madhavan

Mona Lisa’s Ghost by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge is a story filled with thrills, adventure, and mystery. Lucy Nightingale and her best friend, Sam Winter, were watching a video about the Mona Lisa in class and Lucy knew something was just not right the minute the video started. The purple clouds, crying, and letters inside the eyeballs were all creepy and she felt something horrible was killing Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of Mona Lisa, and nobody was doing anything to stop it. Sam thought the painting was attacked by a ghastly buzzing syndrome called Zoom Seizure. Things take a different turn when Lucy meets her friend, Melissa Blackwood, at the Louvre Museum in Paris during her winter vacation. Melissa tells her that she is the reincarnation of Lisa Gherardini, the Mona Lisa. Strangely enough, the painting disappears mysteriously that night. Will Lucy be able to find the painting before it is destroyed by Zoom Seizure?

Filled with twists, turns, mystery, intrigue, and adventure, Mona Lisa’s Ghost makes a compelling read as readers are taken along with Lucy as she tries to solve the mystery. The story also conveys an important message; that of trusting our own self and in our intuition, observing our surroundings with clarity, and believing in the magic that exists within each of us. The detailed narration takes readers back into history, making it vivid. Melissa’s story of being Mona Lisa’s reincarnation will leave readers astonished and curious to learn more about her. The story is fascinating and it is definitely a book that children will enjoy.

Nancy Kunhardt Lodge

Wow, Jack, your summary is concise and spot on. I am so flattered by your editorial comments. Thank you so much