Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction General

Amanda in Spain

The Girl in the Picture

by (author) Darlene Foster

Central Avenue Publishing
Initial publish date
Jan 2011
General, General, Mysteries & Detective Stories
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2011
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 18
  • Grade: 2 to 12


Amanda Jane Ross is certainly becoming a world traveller; she's now in sunny Spain on vacation with her friend Leah. While there, she encounters a mysterious young girl who looks eerily like the girl in a famous painting she saw in a Madrid museum. Even weirder, the girl keeps showing up wherever Amanda finds herself - Madrid, the remote mountains of rural Spain, the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, a lively fiesta and the busy streets of Barcelona. Amanda wants to help this sweet, young girl and her beloved pony escape the clutches of a mean horse-dealer. Come with Amanda on her next adventure as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind the Girl in the Painting while she treks across Spain - always one step ahead of danger!

About the author

Excerpt: Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Picture (by (author) Darlene Foster)

Amanda smiled at the young girl across the room. She looked back at Amanda with unblinking, round eyes from a pale face framed with chestnut ringlets that tumbled past her shoulders. Her elaborate red and silver dress was much too big and too grown up for someone her age.

“Amanda, hurry up. Mom and Dad are going into the next room,” shouted Leah.

“I’m coming,” answered Amanda, as she gave the mysterious girl one last glance. She was about nine or ten; younger than Amanda. She looked friendly and Amanda had an urge to wave good-bye, but that would look just plain silly. The person smiling at her was part of a painting in the middle of Madrid’s Prado Museum.

When the email arrived from Leah in England inviting her to spend a holiday in Spain with her and her parents, Amanda Jane Ross jumped at the chance to visit another country. She looked up all kinds of information about Spain on the internet. Now that she was actually there, the massive buildings and the gigantic, marble sculptures in the middle of the streets seemed much older and larger than she imagined. She felt like she had gone back to the time of the Crusades and expected, at any minute, a knight to come charging around a corner on his white stallion.

The melodious sound of Spanish spoken by the friendly citizens made her feel welcome. They would often shout “Hola!” which Amanda knew meant, “Hello.” Leah and Amanda walked through the marble hallways and galleries of the museum, looking at the paintings and sculptures. Happy to be together again, they had so much to talk about. Like what they had been doing since they last saw each other, how they first met in the United Arab Emirates and their adventures in the desert.

“This will be a quieter holiday,” reported Amanda.

Leah laughed, “Yes, I remember how you got us both into trouble last time, my crazy Canadian friend.”

That night when Amanda went to bed in the hotel room, her head full of the many wonderful things she had seen and done that day, her mind kept going back to the girl in the painting. Amanda had a keen desire to get to know her, but since she had been painted over three hundred years ago, that was quite impossible. Just as she was about to fall asleep, she remembered the sign underneath the painting read Doña Margarite. She decided to look up some information about her on the internet when she got a chance.

The next morning after breakfast, Amanda, Leah and her parents went shopping. The warm smell of coffee greeted Amanda as they walked down a street lined with outdoor tables and chairs, occupied with people sipping coffee and reading newspapers.

Amanda looked up. Above the shops, people stood on balconies looking down at them. They looked real, except they were dressed in old-fashioned clothes with hair piled up high on top of their heads. Similar to the paintings she saw yesterday. They also didn’t move. One of the figures smiled at Amanda, turned around, and went inside. Definitely not a statue – but a real girl wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt. The strange thing was, her face, and her smile, looked exactly like the girl in the painting. “Come along Amanda. Why are you so interested in all these old buildings and things? Wait until you see the lovely shop over here. You will just go mad over the fashions.” Leah grabbed her arm and pulled her along.

Amanda wasn’t sure she actually saw what she thought she saw – a modern day girl, who looked exactly like Doña Margarite.

After some shopping, they had a drink and a snack at an outdoor cafe. Amanda and Leah drank descafeinado con leche, coffee with milk and no caffeine. Amanda loved the smooth, milky, coffee flavour and knew she would want another while she was in Spain.

Editorial Reviews

“Be prepared to learn a lot about the culture while you follow Amanda on her adventure.” —Laura Best, author, Bitter, Sweet

"What a great way for a young person to learn about a culture and to be inspired to experience other countries themselves." —Irene Butler, author, Trekking the Globe with Mostly Gentle Footsteps

AMANDA IN SPAIN is a book for the young and the young-at-heart. Vivid descriptions of the country and its customs, humorous details, and enough tension that keeps you turning the page, make this a very enjoyable reading. I look forward to Amanda's next adventure!" Christa Polkinhorn, Author

Other titles by Darlene Foster

Related lists