Hi there! Welcome to Booktomato! Today we are reading one of my favorite books as a child, Mirette On The High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully.
Mirette, a young girl, and her mother run a boarding house in Paris around the turn of the century. During the day, Mirette helps her mother with the household chores, and at night, she loves to listen to the boarders talk as they eat in the dining room. Most of the boarders are travelling show people - circus performers, dancers, actors - and they have the most exciting conversations about where they have traveled and where they have performed.
One day, a mysterious man comes to get a room. He says that he is a retired high wire walker and in dire need of quiet and rest. While Mirette takes the laundry outside to dry, she spies this mysterious man walking on a rope strung across the courtyard! When he leaves, Mirette can't resist trying the high wire act for herself. With a lot of practice, she walks across the high wire with ease. Mirette soon discovers the mysterious man's real identity, why he has stopped performing, and how to get him to walk the wire again.
This story is so powerful and hopeful. I love the illustrations. They embody the art being produced at the time with its oil painting look, bright colors, and romantic images. This would be a great book to teach bravery and overcoming fears. recommended age: 6+