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Vive La Paris

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  256 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Paris has just come for piano lessons--not free advice. But when old Mrs. Rose gives her a little bit more than she can handle, Paris begins to understand the bully in her brother's life, in this companion novel to the award-winning "Sahara Special."
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Hyperion (first published 2006)
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Mar 12, 2008 Ariel rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ariel by: my mom
This book is an incredible example of how the realities of the world can be related in a sensitive and entertaining manner, all through the eyes of a fifth-grade girl. Paris is the youngest in a family whose eccentricities are only matched by their strong bond with each other. Whether she is taking piano lessons from Mrs. Rosen, or starting her organization in school, the "Extreme Readers Book Club," Paris is a figure that just won't quit, opinions and all, even if, as she states, she is trying ...more
May 06, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Other reviewers have done a great job boiling this book down to its essence. This is about a family accepting each other. It is about opening yourself up to see what you might have in common with people you think are different from you. It is about tolerance, and learning more than you bargained for from your mistakes.
It's also about a 5th grader learning what the Holocaust was, and having it break her world open. All of the characters are sympathetic characters, and my heart broke a little for
Oct 07, 2009 Debrarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fic, history-or-ish
Paris takes piano lessons from ancient, eccentric but excellent Mrs. Cohen, and misunderstands Mrs. Cohen’s arm tattoo, thinking she was in a gang and then learning to her horror about WWII. Moving, funny.
Oleg Kagan
Jul 26, 2011 Oleg Kagan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicago
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2013 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: judaica
Vive la Paris / Codell, Esme Raji
Hyperion : 2006

Paris McCray is African-American; she is ten years old and lives with her family – mom, dad, and four brothers in Chicago. Her family is musical, her dad is a back-up studio musician, her four brothers are named after famous jazz musicians, and her mom loves to sing Donna Summers songs.

Her mom and dad send Paris to take piano lesson from Mrs. Rosen. Mrs. Rosen lived in France during WWII. Mrs. Rosen and Paris become fast friends. During one visit,
Feb 12, 2011 Verona rated it really liked it
A touching look at the holocaust & how it relates to her brother being bullied as told by an african american girl named Paris. One of my favorite parts of the book is when her teacher Miss Pointy shares some words of wisdom with Paris about not being so quick to judge others and say they aren't like us. She says: "Oh, we don't have anything in common, but it always turns out we have something in common, or they have something about them that is interesting. Maybe not enough to be the best ...more
May 16, 2015 Elle rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. Paris has four brothers. Her parents are musical and would like Paris to be musical too. They tell her to go to Mrs. Rosen's house to take piano lessons. Mrs. Rosen teacher her more than just music. She teaches her about living in Paris and takes her and her brother, Michael, under her wing. Michael is an older student but he is being bullied by a bigger girl in Paris' fifth grade class. Michael loves to cook. Has a best friend named Frederick and he loves old jazz music ...more
Jun 22, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers and students because you're never too old to stop learning and to see vie en rose!
Shelves: young-adult
This is a great companion novel to Sahara Special. I enjoyed it just as much and Esmé Raji Codell has a great way of teaching kids lessons without talking down to them.

In this novel Paris learns:

1. About WWII and Natzi's from her Piano teacher Mrs. Rosen.

2. About treating your enemies as friends because they maybe more like you than either of you wants to admit. Here Paris looks through her rose colored glasses to see vie en rose.

3. About death and new beginnings.

Again, I highly recommend this
Feb 14, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
Paris's older brother is getting beaten up by one of Paris's classmates, and won't defend himself. He doesn't believe in violence. Meanwhile, Paris is taking piano lessons from old Mrs. Rosen, who used to live in Paris and who turns out to be a Holocaust survivor.
This is an intense and beautiful look at the meaning of pacifism, of nonviolent resistance, of how we should treat our enemies and those who are cruel to us. In a world that can be dark and cruel, is violence necessary to survive? Is i
Mar 23, 2008 Libby rated it really liked it
My school librarian recommended this book when I was looking for something on bullying. It was not quite what I was looking for because it was not shallow enough. (This is a good thing.) I was looking for something easier. I enjoyed this book because it touched on all kinds of inequality issues, including bullying, racism, agism, and the Holocaust. It was pretty deep. Even though it is children's lit, I definitely think the kids would need some background information to really "get" this book.
Feb 21, 2008 Terri rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grades 3-7 students and teachers
Outstanding characterization and noteworthy theme are the fortes of Codell's companion to her earlier novel, Sahara Special. Paris is sent to an elderly Jewish woman for piano lessons, but Mrs. Rosen teaches her and her brother Michael much more than the piano. Codell's work comments on the Holocaust; Martin Luther King, Jr.; bullying; and so much more. And, to quote from K. Hazelrigg's review, "Education is the key to it all." Wonderful book!
Aug 24, 2008 Kristin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle schools students
I am glad I finally got to read this book! I read Sahara Special by the same author a few years ago and really enjoyed that one. Both books are a unique perspective on an inner city fifth grade class, written from the point of view of two girls in the class, Sahara and Paris. I really like Paris...she tries to hard to be good and polite in a troubled world, and she puts everything in lists!
Apr 10, 2010 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2010
The companion novel to Sahara Special. Paris is a 5th grader in Chicago. She's smart, she's musical and she really doesn't know much about the world outside her neighborhood. Then her parents send her to piano lessons from an old lady, Mrs. Rosen, who use to be part of a gang. She has a tattoo on her arm and friends who were shot fighting the other gang to prove it.

A children's book that is entertaining, even thought provoking for adults.
Feb 03, 2008 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-fiction
This companion to Sahara Special has everything--strong characters with realistic voices, emotional conflict, solid resolution. It touches on racism, personal responsibility, the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Holocaust. The key to every solution in this book is education. This is a superb book for kids.
Aug 19, 2009 Joann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Wonderful book. The main character is a precocious little black girl who lives in New York. She takes piano lessons from a Jewish teacher, Mrs. Rosen, who teaches her about life. She learns about the holocaust and becomes saddened and depressed, but she soon bounces back wiser for her new knowledge.
May 24, 2012 Zoe rated it it was ok
A really unique book with some big surprises towards the end: discussions of the Holocaust and teen pregnancy. Woah. The fictional narrator's reflexive conversational style is very unusual and sometimes put me off, but I am glad I got to hear this on audiobook with my fourth graders. (Just not so happy that the second graders were listening, too!)
Apr 23, 2008 Mokamonkey rated it really liked it
The story started very abruptly. I listened to it, rather than reading it and was afraid I had accidentally mixed up the order of the tracks, but nope. Once I got into the story and figured out what was going on, I liked it. There were a lot of lessons to be learned throughout, which kind of turns me off, but overall good story.
Mrs. Miriam
Jan 13, 2014 Mrs. Miriam rated it it was amazing
This book explores the confusion of fifth grade African American girl as she learns about the Holocaust based on comments and artifacts that her Jewish survivor piano teacher entrusts to her. Meanwhile, she tries to figure out what it means to deal effectively with a class bully without going against her own and her family values of non-violence.
Jun 21, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic follow-up to Codell's first novel, Sahara Special. I really enjoyed Paris's voice and all of her brothers, but I especially loved Mrs. Rosen, Paris's wise old piano teacher, who ends up teaching her about way more than just music.
Mar 02, 2009 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: tween-bullying
I liked the voice of the protagonist, but I thought that every aspect of the star of David incident was unrealistic. Being the youngest child, and the only girl with older brothers, I empathized with Paris a lot.
Sue (booknbeachbag)
Jun 12, 2010 Sue (booknbeachbag) rated it really liked it
I'm not sure whom this book is geared towards. I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult, but I think it would be far above the head of most 5th grade readers. And because the main character is in fifth grade, it might seem too young for a more sophisticated reader.
Jan 26, 2010 Jackie rated it it was ok
This is a slice of Paris'life. The reader learns about her brothers, what happens at school, and her piano teacher. The book reminds me of peeling the layers off of an onion. There are many threads to this book which help make Paris the person she is.
Aug 02, 2007 BookOfLife added it
Shelves: podcasted
Hear an interview about Vive La Paris with author Esme Raji Codell on The Book of Life podcast's November 2006 episode at
Ms Threlkeld
Once I got a sense of the narrator's voice/personality, we were off and running together and I loved every minute of it, even when Paris wasn't too likeable.
Oct 30, 2007 Dayna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrensbooks
This was such a good read - it spun together better then I imagined and has such a nice message to tell.
Lorien Brinkman-Bouche
Jun 23, 2010 Lorien Brinkman-Bouche rated it really liked it
This is a very easy read that doesn't stretch the brain, but it has a good message. It's a feel-good time filler book. I enjoyed reading it.
Jul 26, 2007 Tonya rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: upper elementary
I liked the diverse characters in this book that continued over from the authors previous novel, Sahara Special. Deals with intergenerational relationships and the holocaust.
Jul 12, 2009 Carole rated it it was amazing
Loved Sahara Special, and this comes after. Miss Pointy is still their teacher. Absolutely love Codell! YA.
Nov 06, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
This was a funny novel about unfunny things. Very real, with a very believable narrator. I would love to teach this novel.
May 21, 2010 LouAnne rated it really liked it
I loved Sahara Special by this author and this follow up book. Paris is a wonderful character.

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Esme Raji Codell is the recipient of a prestigious James Patterson Pageturner Award for spreading the excitement of books in an effective and original way. She has been a keynote speaker for the International Reading Association and the American Library Association, a “virtual” keynote for the National Education Association’s “Stay Afloat!” online conference for first-year teachers, and a featured ...more
More about Esmé Raji Codell...

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