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Scholastic Book Guides: Mirette on the Highwire [Paperback]

Scholastic Inc
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 6.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2003 Professional Books
Mirette was always fascinated by the strange and interesting people who stayed in her mother's boarding house. But no one excited her as much as Bellini, who walks the clothesline with the grace and ease of a bird. When Mirette discovers that fear has kept him from performing for years, she sets out to show him that sometimes a student can be the greatest teacher of all. Full color.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Scholastic Book Guides: Mirette on the Highwire + When I Was Young in the Mountains + Miss Rumphius
Price For All Three: CDN$ 25.50

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  • When I Was Young in the Mountains CDN$ 9.49

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Product Details


Product Description

From Amazon

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In this picture book set in 19th-century Paris, a child helps a daredevil who has lost his edge to regain his confidence. Many traveling performers stay at Madame Gateaux's boarding house, but Mme.'s daughter Mirette is particularly taken with one guest--the quiet gentleman who can walk along the clothesline without falling off. Mirette implores the boarder to teach her his craft, not knowing that her instructor is the "Great Bellini" of high wire fame. After much practice the girl joins Bellini on the wire as he conquers his fear and demonstrates to all of Paris that he is still the best. McCully's story has an exciting premise and starting point, but unfortunately ends up as a missed opportunity. Bellini's anxiety may be a bit sophisticated for the intended audience and, surprisingly, the scenes featuring Mirette and Bellini on the high wire lack drama and intensity. McCully's rich palette and skillful renderings of shadow and light sources make this an inviting postcard from the Old World. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
One hundred years ago in Paris, when theaters and music halls drew travel-players from all over the world, the best place to stay was at the widow Gateau's a boardinghouse on English Street. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars One of the Biggest Wastes of Paper Ever! Feb. 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I gave Mirette On The High Wire only 2 stars because it was very predictable. The only fair part of the book was the pictures. They might have been an alright nomination, but definitely should not have won. It was predictable when Belini said no to Mirette to teach her to walk on the wire. I believe it was a very bad book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Caldcott Medal Winner Feb. 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The book Mirette on the high wire is a good children's book because the pictures and words are very descriptive. This story is about a retired high wire artist who lives in a boarding house and a little girl who has dreams of being a high wire artist. So the high wire artist teaches her how to walk the wire and her dreams of being a high wire artist come true.
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3.0 out of 5 stars To walk a line Feb. 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a beautiful story with very beautiful and extravagant pictures. I'd recommend this book to most new readers, even young ones. The plot is great. It's the old man meets the little girl helps her, but the girl also helps him through his hard and troubled times.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Hire Wire Girl Feb. 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a good book because it tells you to believe in yourself and don't give up. The main characters are Mirette and Mr. Bellini. You just want to know what Mirette is up to. Mr. Bellini just helps her out.
She practices outside on the clothesline. Mr. Bellini was there and then left. He came back and saw her on the clothesline.
Mr. Bellini thought of an idea to show her that he's not afraid. She comes up there with him. They both do the hire wire together.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Caldecott winner Feb. 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read Mirette on the High Wire. It is a very good book. It is about a retired high wire walker that retired and teaches a younger person to walk on the wire. It has a very exciting ending and you should read it. The setting is in France. An agent finds him. There is a conflict about weather he will face his fears, and walk on the wire again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good story, great female character Feb. 12 2004
By NK
Format:Paperback
I would give this book 3.5 stars for plot. The story's above average but not great, yet definitely worth reading. It is definitely 5 stars for having a very positive female role model - she is hard-working, helpful, extremely responsible (she helps here widowed mother run the guesthouse and when she wants to learn to walk a tightrope, she gets up 2 hours early so she can still finish her chores and have the rest of the day to practice), diligent, and pursues and sticks to her own dreams- teaching herself even when initially rebuffed by Bellini. The book is also one of the few I've seen with a very positive image of a single mother who is very hard-working, conscientious and doing her best to provide for her and her daughter. The book definitely earns 5+ stars for its admirable portrayal of female characters! The book also does a good job of presenting more diverse occupations (the performers) that are not necessarily glamourous or prestigious for their time. (On other diversity measures such as race and heterosexism, the book is not so good but that may be more a reflection of the historical setting of the book and does not necessarily come across as a flaw.) The values modeled by the main character, Mirette, are admirable for anyone to experience - female or male, child or adult. The atypical setting - a turn of the century guest house in Paris for traveling performers - provides a not frequently encountered historical slice of life in picture books. This book is a great transition book from read-aloud picture books to read-aloud chapter books for older preschoolers/kindergardeners or precocious toddlers/young preschoolers. There is a large picture on every page to help maintain interest but the text is longer and more complex than simpler picture books. Also because there are other books in the series, reading one after the other also helps in the transition to chapter books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The world is your oyster June 24 2003
Format:Paperback
I love this book! A smashing story of a girl's discoveries of her own talents & strength, complete with lovely illustrations & set in one of the most fascinating countries in the world: France. Mirette helps run a boarding house & discovers their new guest has an unusual talent: tightrope walking! She begs him to teach her & each they begin odysseys without & within. Can Mirette truly have nerves of steel, or is she meant to stay on the ground? One of the best picture books & meant to be in every child's library.
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3.0 out of 5 stars High Wire Walking March 14 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I would have to say this is not one of the very best books I have ever read, but it was a good story. The little girl in the story wants Bellini, the world famous high-wire walker, to teach her how to walk the high wire, but after years of performing Bellini is afraid. The book is a great story to tell children and explain to them that they should never give up. When Mirette tries to walk on the high-wire she falls off a lot and struggles to keep her balance, but with all her ambition she keeps trying and trying. She never gives up. And when she wants to go with him to perform in front of people, he says she can't. But she doesn't give up hope. She still practices and practices and never gives up.
This story shows little children that if at first you don't succeed, get yourself up and try again and again until you do get it. Even if it does take an extra mile, the end result will be great if you try your hardest. ...
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