Mirette on the High WireBy
By Emily Arnold McCully
It’s exciting being Mirette. She lives in Paris, France over a hundred years ago and her mom runs a boardinghouse where circus folk and other performers come to stay. After Mirette does her chores she gets to hear all about their lives and travels and the wonderful things they do. Then one day, her mom’s boardinghouse is visited by a mysterious performer who loved to walk the high wire but won’t go back to his trade anymore. Can Mirette change his mind? Can her interest and desire to be a high-wire walker rekindle his spirit?
This is a beautiful book that really speaks to what a difference an adult can make to a child and a child can make to an adult. Bravo!
One caveat, here. The book shares the exciting art of high-wire walking without a lot of precautionary warnings. If reading this to your kids or your class, make sure you give them good basic warnings that this type of activity requires a high level of skill, practice and proper adult supervision!
One day, a mysterious stranger arrives at a boardinghouse of the widow Gateau—a sad-faced stranger, who keeps to himself. When the widow’s daughter, Mirette, discovers him crossing the courtyard on air, she begs him to teach her how he does it.
But Mirette doesn’t know that the stranger was once the Great Bellini—master wire-walker. Or that Bellini has been stopped by a terrible fear. And it is she who must teach him courage once again.
Emily Arnold McCully’s sweeping watercolor paintings carry the reader over the rooftops of nineteenth-century Paris and into an elegant, beautiful world of acrobats, jugglers, mimes, actors, and one gallant, resourceful little girl.