Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

December 28, 2006

Vive La Paris

By Esme Codell
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

This is a companion novel to the wonderful Sahara Special. Named after the city in France, Paris is a 5th grader who loves to read, has 4 big brothers, and a father who wants all the kids to know how to play an instrument. Accordingly, Paris gets sent to elderly Mrs. Rosen for piano lessons, with her 8th grade brother Michael in tow. Paris is troubled by 2 things: how soft her brother Michael seems to be, and Tanaeja, a girl in her class who keeps trying to beat up Michael at recess. Michael only wants to keep the peace, so he doesn't fight back, but Paris is itching to put this bully down. But as her lessons with Mrs. Rosen progress, she learns about a different perspective on life as well as some jazz. Paris is taught the hard way that her point of view isn't the only one that exists, and to try and be your brother's keeper is a long, bumpy road. And if Tanaeja is her enemy, maybe there is a reason behind her actions if she can just see past them. This is a wonderful book about being and becoming. Paris is very realistic in her narrow point of view, and in her reluctance to forgive and forget. Fans of Sahara Special can hope for more stories about members of Miss Pointy's class.


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