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Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold…

Mirette on the High Wire (1992)

by Emily Arnold McCully

Series: Mirette (1)

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1,393585,452 (4.04)8



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I loved this book. The illustrations were incredibly and suited the story perfectly. McCully's nod to the artistic style of the time period the story takes place in really enhances the story. Without a doubt she deserved to win the Caldecott Medal.
  JessicaLeupold | Jan 29, 2015 |
In the book, “Mirette On the High Wire”, a little girl finds a man on a tight rope to be very interesting. She attempts to try walking on her own and falls in love with the high wire. I found the illustrations in this book to be absolutely beautiful! This book won the Caldecott medal for the brightly colored oil pastels used to create scenic images of Paris. Another reason why I liked this book was because of the plot. The little girl tried and failed multiple times before she succeeded passing the high wire. The girl continued to do what made her happy even though other people told her she couldn’t cross the high wire. The main idea of this book is with practice makes perfect and to keep trying even if you fail. ( )
  vharsh1 | Dec 3, 2014 |
Mirette is a young girl living in Paris in the 1890's, She helps her mother in the boardinghouse where many "street performers" stay. That is where she meets and is inspired by Bellini, a retired high wire walker. She watches Bellini on the wire in the courtyard and cannot resist trying it herself. With Bellini's reluctant assistance she works hard, shows immense courage and learns to walk the wire. Bellini decided that it is once again time to walk the wire between two buildings with all of Paris watching. In the middle of his walk he freezes but Mirette is there at the wire ready to help him along. They work together to make it to the other side. That is the beginning of Mirette and Bellini, the wire walkers.
  ryckecraw | Nov 3, 2014 |
In my opinion, “Mirette on the High Wire” is a unique book for young readers who are interested in learning about old French culture. The story occurs in Paris, France, and it takes place over one hundred years ago. Mirette is the main character, and she lives with her mother in a boarding house on English Street. The plot is very suspenseful. When Mirette sees Monsieur Bellini crossing the courtyard in midair, she decides that she wants to be like Bellini. She begins to practice balancing on a low wire. Although she falls many times, she keeps getting up to try again. The book says, “In a day, she managed three steps without wavering.” Bellini provides an insightful moral to the story. He tells Mirette, “In the beginning everyone falls. Most people give up. But you keep trying. Perhaps you have talent as well.” The book pushes students to broaden their perspectives about what talent really is. The book teaches an important lesson that everyone could become good at something if they are dedicated to practicing and never give up. At the conclusion of the story, Mirette is successful, and she travels the world while performing with Bellini. The book’s illustrations are unquestionably stunning. The illustrations showcase all of the suspenseful parts of the story with watercolor paint and pastels. The big idea of the story is to tell readers to never give up on a dream and to work hard to get what they want. ( )
  sstelz2 | Oct 16, 2014 |
This book is about a girl named Mirette who is determined to become a high wire walker after seeing it done by one of the guest staying in her mothers boardinghouse. She practices every day even though she falls many times she is determined to be great and gets back on the wire. She finds out the guest she saw walking on the high wire was the great Bellini. She asks him to give one of his great performances. He tells her he had a scare on the wire and can not perform again. Mirette is devastated. The next night Mirette see that Bellini is on the high wire in front of a cheering crowed. He is going to conquer his fear but he suddenly freezes. Mirette races to the wire and together the cross the wire.
Personal reaction
I thought this book was very good story of determination and conquering fears. The story and illustrations took the straight to the setting of the book in nineteenth-century Paris.
Extension ideas
1)This book could be used in the classroom to show children practice equals perfection and determination will make you achieve your goals. 2)It can also open the conversation of conquering fears as Bellini did.
  christa15 | Jul 5, 2014 |
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First words
One hundred years ago in Paris, when theaters and music halls drew traveling players from all over the world, the best place to stay was at the widow Gateau's, a boardinghouse on English Street.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0698114434, Paperback)

Mirette and the "Great Bellini" traverse the Paris skyline on high wire in the climactic scene of this picture book about conquering fear. The two meet at Mirette's mother's boarding house, where Bellini is staying with a troupe of traveling performers. Mirette persuades Bellini to teach her his art, and soon enough the two are performing above the rooftops of Paris. While Mirette gets to step outside her daily routine of peeling potatoes and scrubbing floors, Bellini manages to reaffirm his mastery. The story affords a spunky, down-to-earth role model for readers who like to dream big dreams. It also offers rich, scenic portraits of 19th century Paris. The book won the 1993 Caldecott Medal.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:34 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Mirette learns tightrope walking from Monsieur Bellini, a guest in her mother's boarding house, not knowing that he is a celebrated tightrope artist who has withdrawn from performing because of fear.

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