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Mirette on the High Wire (Mirette #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  7,743 ratings  ·  313 reviews
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 t
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 21st 1992 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1992)
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When Mirette meets "The Great Bellini"--a boarder at her mother's boarding house and a famous ("retired") high wire walker, she is very impressed. She loves to watch him walk wires in the yard and her feet are all jittery on solid ground now--she wants to walk wires, too! But soon she learns that fear has entered Bellini's heart and that he feels he cannot perform on the high wire any more. Will Mirette's faith in him, and her youthful enthusiasm, rescue him from his crippling fear?

While the sto
Mirette on the High Wire is a story about a young girl in 19th century Paris and a famous high-wire walker who comes to stay at her mother's boarding house.

A nice curriculum connection for this book might be to compare it with Mordecai Gernstein's, "The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers" and discuss the differences between fiction and non-fiction.

I really liked the themes explored here of perseverance and courage to overcome fears. The relationship between Mirette and the great Bellini was swe
Now this girl has some courage. Maybe it's my fear of heights but the whole time I was reading Emily Arnold McCully's tale about a courageous little French girl and her love of walking on a wire I had the heebie jeebies. The book is filled with great water color illustrations of a little girl who works at her mother's hotel in Paris. When one day an acrobatic legend decides to stay with them. While doing her chores the little girl notices that this man was not an ordinary man and approaches him ...more
Emily Arnold McCully's 'Mirette on the High Wire' is a story of revered fascination, determination, and the power of the youthful spirit. Based on a real-life daredevil that McCully researched, this 1993 recipient of the Ralph Caldecott Medal tells the story of Bellini-a retired high wire artist who retreats to a place of solitude when his career and his enthusiasm enter a state of retreat. Unbeknownest to him, Bellini would soon encounter a young girl named Mirette who slaves in domestic chores ...more
I thought this book did a bad job at parenting. I do not think I would allow my young daughter to perform tight rope acts or even attempt to do so, but I did enjoy that Mirette gave back Belini's his drive to get back into the art of walking on a tight rope.
Christine Gray
The Caldecott Metal
Second- Third Grades
Mirette was a very hard working girl who helped her mother to run a boardinghouse located in Paris. After a retired high-wire walker name Bellini came to live at the house the girl became enchanted with walking the wire herself. The problem was Bellini had lost his courage to go out and walk the wires as he had once done. Bellini knew that Mirette was disappointed and he had to do something. He called his agent in and spoke with him rega
Gloria Copeland
Emily Arnold McCully copyrighted Mirette on The High Wire in 1992 about a young girl, Mirette who helped her mother run a boarding house whose guest were Vagabond players and drifters over one hundred years ago in Paris. One afternoon a lovely sad faced stranger comes to the end for rest, and the owner Madame Gateau Mirette mom rents him a room in the back by the courtyard. The moment Mirette saw the stranger Bellini walking on the tight rope in the courtyard she became “enchanted” by the magic ...more
Jenna Kennedy
One hundred years ago in Paris a very interesting adventure took place. Madam and her daughter Mirette kept an inn. As the girl would mop and cook, she would listen to the guest’s stories of their great adventures. One day, a man came to stay at their inn. She longs to learn how he performs his tight-rope act, nevertheless he declines her request to be taught. She couldn’t resist and flailed into the wire, but she fell down. Her persistence eventually gets her down the length of the wire! What i ...more
The author/illustrator of this Caldecott Award winner evokes the feel of Paris from a century ago in her story. When a new boarder comes to stay at her mother's boarding house, Mirette realizes that he has secrets. His ability to walk across a high wire inspires her to try to do the same so that she is almost flying across the rooftops. But she falls, over and over again. Through her own bravery and determination, she improves, and when fear paralyzes him during an actual performance, it is her ...more
Melody Wolen
Reading Level: 4th grade
This book is set one-hundred years ago in Paris. Mirette is a young girl who is the daughter of a boardinghouse owner that houses many famous people. Bellini a retired tight rope walker comes to stay with them and befriends Mirette. Mirette hears people talking about Bellini and the embarrassment of his retirement. She asks him about and he explains that once you have the fear of tight-ropes you can’t get over it. Mirette soon learns to walk in the sky and to everyone’s a
Alex Roth
This is a story of a young girl named Mirette who eagerly wants to learn how to walk on the high wire when a man named Bellini was staying at her home. Belilin teaches Mirette to walk the high wire and Mirette practices really hard and then learns that Bellini is a very well known high wire walker. I really liked this book because it was a young girl working towards a goal that she had of being a high wire walker. Books like this make me hopeful for young generations to make goals for themselves ...more
Savannah Spaulding
Mirette and her family owns a resort where you can pay to stay for weeks at a time and one time a guest comes and Mirette learns he is a tight rope walker. When she finds out who he is she wants to learn. He is hesitant at first because he is afraid but she helps him overcome the fear and together they become a tight rope walking duo. The illustrations to this book were very pretty and vivid in color. The author chose the color of Mirette’s hair to be red which I think was a good, but bold choic ...more
Elise Edwards
Mirette is the daughter of a hotel owner in Paris. Mirette is great at doing the chores she is assigned, but dreams of more. Her dreams come true when Bellini arrives. Bellini is a retired high-wire walker who comes to the inn to rest for a while. One morning, Mirette finds him walking on a wire and is intrigued by it all. She can't wait to get her feet up on that wire. Mirette wakes up early to get her chores done before she can spend her days practicing. When she finally shows Bellini what she ...more
The illustrations in this book are done in oil paint. There is no empty space on the pages other than where the writing is. “Mirette on The High Wire” is about a young girl who meets the Great Bellini, a tight ropewalker. Mirette was amazed and wanted to do everything he was doing. After many attempts, falls, and fears, she was able to hold her balance and show Bellini all that she had accomplished. In the end, he needed to get over his fear. The moment Mirette saw Bellini on the rope; she knew ...more
Brittaney Reed
McCully, E.A. (1992). Mirette on the high wire. New York: Penguin Young Readers Group.

"Mirette on the High Wire", by Emily Arnold McCully follows a young girl who is fascinated with a guest at her mother's hotel named "The Great Bellini". Bellini is a high wire walker. Mirette watches him practice and decides she wants to learn! Mirette finds out that "The Great Bellini" has let fear of the wire overcome him and at the night of a performance he is frozen on the high wire. Mirette to the rescue!
Mirette on the High Wire is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that is about a young girl who helps a once daredevil, regain his confidence. Mirette becomes fascinated with the idea of tight rope walking, and picks up this hobby. Little does she know that her instructor is actually the “Great Bellini” who was known for his tight rope walking successes.

I really loved the overall themes that were presented in this book. It showed to always persevere and never give up so you can conquer your
Victoria Hawkins

Mirette on the High Wire is written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully is about a girl that teaches a grown adult about courage. The setting of the book takes place in Paris, France. An upset man shows up and tells Madame that he needed to stay and get some rest. The little girl named Mirette goes outside and she finds the upset man walking on a high-wire. As the days passed by the girl watch the man walk on the high-wire over and over again. The little girl was finally fed up of waiting an
Summary- This story is set 100 years ago in Paris at a boarding house, where people of all kinds came to rest, relax and eat good food. Mirette is the daughter of the owner and helps by doing small chores, her favorite thing to do is eavesdrop on the patrons stories. One day a retired high wire walker came to stay at the house, he was very strange and wanted to be left alone. The next morning when Mirettte came to get the sheets from Belinni she saw him walking across the court yard on a wire. S ...more
The Great Bellini, a celebrated wire-walker, stays in the boarding house that Mirette's mother owns. Enchanted by Bellini's skills, she begs for lessons and learns to walk the wire as well. Though Bellini was a real person and his actual feats are described, the story about Mirette is fiction.

Recommended for primary elementary students.
Alisha Ptacek
Personal Reaction-
This book has a very interesting story behind it. It is kind of telling the reader that you can do anything you set your mind to. The illustrations are also very ingaging, as they should be since the book won the Caldecott Medal.

Read aloud to Kindergarten to 3rd grade students for several purposes:
The book has outstanding illustrations in it. This book would be great for teaching a lesson about illustrations in books. The book contains many vertical lines, which symbol
Katie Grasher
This book is about a man, a famous high wire walker, who came to stay with a family. The little girl of the family was very interested in what he was doing and wanted to try. She tried very hard every day and eventually could walk it very well. She wanted to go with the great high wire walker but he said no he could not. One day he put on a special show and let her walk the high wire as well. This book has what looks to be water color pictures as well. This seems to be popular in childrens books ...more
Staci Browning
I really enjoyed this book and the message it portrayed through the main characters. Mirette is a very strong character who knows what she wants and goes after it, as young children read about her they will learn great qualities to invest in. I also enjoyed the part about Bellini and how although great and powerful, he too is vulnerable at times and is not always confident like you would assume. This too teaches a great lesson to students as it is not always how you do in life but how you approa ...more
Heather Wright
"Mirette in High Wire" is a historical fiction book for children of the ages 4-8. This book won the
Caldecott Medal (1993). The book is about a little girl bane Mirette who helps Bellini regains his confidence while he is staying at her moms boarding house, Eventually you read about the two walking across the wires of the rooftops across the city. I really like how the author explain this story in suck a language that young children could relate too. The pictures of the book were very life like
Lauren Richards
Mirette on the High Wire was written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully. This book was the 1993 Caldecott Medal Winner. This story takes place in France. A little girl named Mirette learns how to walk a tightrope by a famous tightrope walker. The illustrations are beautifully done and portray the story very well. The unique style of illustration adds a lot to the story. This book could be used in a classroom for teaching kids to follow their dreams. Students could draw pictures of their dre ...more
Mirette on the High Wire was a great story about ambition, determination, and achieving goals. Naïve to her mentor's history, Mirette finds herself completely enamored by seemingly walking on air. Once discovering exactly who the Great Bellini was, Mirette's dream of entertaining turned into an obtainable goal. The illustrations slightly lacked behind the storyline. The attraction that I had toward the illustrations of other children's books just was not there with this one. I glanced, but ultim ...more
Lauryn Carroll
I really liked this book because of the good use of vocabulary and the beautiful illustrations. I like that it tells about a famous tight rope walker named Bellini and gives readers a happy feeling when reading it. It has a great moral to the story. It is about courage, taking chances, and doing things that make you happy. It exposes readers to words that might be difficult because they are derived from French, but it gives students the experience and increases vocabulary. The story is very orig ...more
This is a book about a little girl who learns to cross a high wire from the famous Bellini—the man who crossed Niagara Falls in 10 minutes on the high wire. She learns not to give up when she falls, and she learns to focus only on the wire. When Bellini was scared, she was there to help him and became part of his show as his prodigy. The illustrations in this book are simple but fitting. The colors are warm, except Mirette is always brightly colored with her bright orange hair and her blue dress ...more
This is a fun story about a little girl named Mirette in Paris and her new friend Bellini walking on the high wire. Along with the interesting story the book has wonderful illustrations that reinforce the actions of the text. The illustrator uses bright watercolors to make the wonderful pictures. The shapes of the objects and characters in the book are very abstract. But even though the pictures are a little abstract the reader can still see Mirette’s facial expression especially when she tries ...more
Sapphire Moosman
I was read this story once when I was a little girl and loved it. Read it again for my college class and still love it. The time period that the beautifully painted pictures portray lend a sense of class to the story and yet it captures the curiosity of children's minds perfectly and their determination to try something, especially if an adult tells them not to.

It also holds an important lesson that all children should learn: the value of, grit. To follow your dreams even if you might fall time
Brandi Larsen
I love this book. Love, love, love, love, love this book.

It captures our imagination and it's an inspiring tale about what you can do when you go after your dreams (with a lot of practice). I also like the secondary message of how you can inspire others with your actions. The illustrations are beautiful, and the language is perfect. I'm always so happy when my daughter chooses this book to read. (And she chooses it a lot because it's one of her favorites, too.)

I work at Penguin Random House, tho
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Emily Arnold McCully received the Caldecott Medal for Mirette on the High Wire. The illustrator of more than 40 books for young readers, she divides her time between Chatham, New York, and New York City.
More about Emily Arnold McCully...

Other Books in the Series

Mirette (3 books)
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  • Mirette and Bellini Cross Niagara Falls
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