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Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold…
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Mirette on the High Wire (1992)

by Emily Arnold McCully

Series: Mirette (1)

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Summary
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 |
The illustrations of this book are a delight: it’s simply intuitive to have impressionistic watercolor illustrations for a book set in turn of the century Paris. Each image is dreamy with soft flowing shapes, and bright with rich pops of color. Mirette is a tenacious young girl and a worthwhile protagonist. It’s wonderful to see a female passionate over and skillful in a non-traditional talent. From the gorgeous images to the glorious story, there is a pervasive and charming grandeur to this book that cannot be denied.
  KellyAnnGraff | Apr 1, 2014 |
Caldecott winner, 1993
a young girl in Paris finds herself enamored with the great wire-walker Bellini when he stays at her mother's boarding house. Agreeing to train her, Mirette learns to wire walk. In return, Mirette teaches Bellini to overcome his fears.
  bp0128bd | Jan 24, 2014 |
Cute book to teach to students about overcoming their fears. It also has an historical context to it that can be used in Social Studies when teaching about periods in history. It can also teach children to learn that practice is needed and you can do anything if you just try. ( )
  klmontgomery | Sep 5, 2013 |
I liked the historical context to it. My daughter learned that in order to be good at something she has to practice. :) ( )
  lmeza | Aug 31, 2013 |
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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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