65. Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
Retell: Mirette works at her mother’s boarding house. When a mysterious stranger asks for a room and takes his meals alone, Mirette is intrigued. One day she discovers the stranger walking across the clothesline. The stranger turns out to be the great Bellini, a famous tightrope walker. Mirette falls in love with the high wire and is determined to walk high above a crowd.
Topics: artists, dreams, Paris
Units of Study: Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction
Tribes: personal best
Habits of Mind: persistence, striving for accuracy
Reading Skills: interpretation, prediction
Writing Skills: incorporating diaglogue
My Thoughts: Though this book is not a true story, the tightrope walker is based on a real person–a daredevil named Blondin who walked over Niagara Falls on a high wire. I like it when authors describe their inspiration in the author’s note. I plan on using this book when we focus on the Habits of Mind ‘persistence’ and ‘ striving for accuracy.’ The author shows the main character making a lot of mistakes and having someone fine tune her every movement.