Paris, a Perfect Adventure: Exploring the ‘City of Light’
Hahn, D. (Producer), Trousdale, G. (Director), & Wise, K. (Director). (1996). The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Motion picture]. United States: Walt Disney Animation Studios. 91:00. DVD, $12.99. Rated G. ISBN 9780788806292. All ages. A humble, mysterious bellringer learns to love in this animated adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel set in Paris.
Kimmelman, L. (2008). Everybody Bonjours! Illustrated by Sarah McMenemy. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. Unpaged. Hardcover, $16.99. Ages 3-7. Paired with whimsical drawings, this terrific rhyming story will have children saying “Bonjour!” as they tour the sights of Paris.
Knight, J. (2003). Charlotte in Paris. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. Unpaged. Hardcover, $16.99. ISBN 9780811837668. Ages 8+. In an artfully illustrated journal, a young girl tells of her adventures in Paris and Giverny, the home of impressionism and Claude Monet.
Lamorisse, A. (Director). (1956). The Red Balloon [Motion picture]. Le Ballon Rouge (original title). 34:00. VHS. Rated G. All ages. A boy and his red balloon are inseparable as they explore the streets of Paris, earning Lamorisse an Academy Award for best original screenplay.
Lamprell, K. (2011). Not for parents: Paris, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know. Footscray, Victoria: Lonely Planet Publications. 96p. Paperback, $14.99. ISBN 9781742208176. All ages. Packed with over 400 illustrations, maps, and photographs, this book is guaranteed to introduce every aspect of Paris and its history.
McClintock, B. (2006). Adele & Simon. Illustrated by Barbara McClintock. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Unpaged. Hardcover, $16.00. ISBN 9780374380441. Ages 4+. Simon is exceptionally forgetful and it is up to his older sister, Adèle, to navigate the busy streets of Paris on their way home from school.
McCully, E. A. (1992). Mirette On the High Wire. Illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Unpaged. Hardcover, $14.95. ISBN 0399221301. Ages 4+. In this Caldecott Medal winner, Mirette helps a uniquely talented stranger conquer his fears, proving a student can make the best teacher.
Rausser, S. (2011). Kiki & Coco in Paris. Photographs by Stephanie Rausser. Petaluma, CA: Cameron & Company. Unpaged. Hardback, $18.95. ISBN 9780918684509. Ages 4+. Kiki & Coco are best friends. Photographs of their Paris adventures are beautifully captured and stunningly displayed as full-page images.
Sasek, M. (2004). This is Paris. New York, NY: Universe Publishing. 60p. Hardcover, $17.95. ISBN 9780789310637. Ages 4+. A visionary, illustrated guide to Paris, this book highlights the preeminent sites and interesting people that define the “City of Light.”
Selznick, B. (2007). The Invention of Hugo Cabret. New York, NY: Scholastic Press. 533p. Hardcover, $24.99. ISBN 9780439813785. Ages 8+. Hugo, a thieving orphan, lives in the walls of a busy train station in Paris. Wanting to uncover his past leads him down a mysterious path.
- Paris provides a rich setting for the imagination of children to explore limitless possibilities. From the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre Museum, history, culture, art, and ingenuity converge in Paris and many children would love to know more about what is one of the world’s most popular destinations. Also, children will enjoy dreaming of visiting and/or living in this beautiful city.
- This list is intended for a wide range of elementary school children but primarily focused on children aged 4-8. Most of the items are well suited for early readers and young children. Early readers that have difficulty reading on their own may enjoy being read aloud to by a more experienced reader, because the content is certainly appropriate for them. These items are attractive to many age groups because of the whimsical illustrations, photographs, film, and engaging, yet comprehensible text. The purpose of this list is to gather an exceptional list of what Paris is like through the eyes of children.
- I relied on my cursory knowledge of children’s literature about Paris to begin my list and used Amazon, Booklist, and the Worldcat catalog (Library of Congress Subject Heading search) to add to my initial finds. Due to the wonderful library staff all across the Orbis Cascade Alliance, I was able to borrow each item on this list that was not readily available at my library. I read each book and I consulted reviews from the School Library Journal, Booklist, and Amazon to reinforce my perception of each item’s appropriate age range. Additionally, I watched Hunchback to familiarize myself with its content and I utilized the Internet Movie Database for reviews and a summary of Red Balloon.
War Children: Stories of Life and Survival During World War II
Amis, N. (2003). The Orphans of Normandy: A True Story of World War II Told Through Drawings by Children. New York, NY: Atheneum Books. Unpaged. Hardcover, $17.95. ISBN 9780689841439. Ages 8-12. The striking drawings and notes of orphans forced to travel thousands of miles to safety recount a story of perseverance and hope.
Bartoletti, S. C. (2005). Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow. New York, NY: Scholastic Nonfiction. 176p. Hardcover, $19.95. ISBN 9780439353793. Ages 10+. Historical accounts and photographs tell the story of twelve members of a generation who devoted their lives to Nazi Germany.
Drucker, O. L. (1992). Kindertransport. New York, NY: H. Holt. 146p. Hardcover, $14.95. ISBN 9780805017113. Ages 10+. From Nazi Germany to America, Ollie recounts being separated from her parents and sent to England to live safely for the duration of the war.
Fitzmaurice, K. (2012). A Diamond in the Desert. New York, NY: Viking. 258p. Hardcover, $16.99. ISBN 9780670012923. Ages 9+. As Japanese-Americans, Tetsu and his family are sent to a relocation center in Arizona where the game of baseball becomes his refuge.
Greenfield, H. (1993). The Hidden Children. New York, NY: Ticknow & Fields. 118p. Hardcover, $15.95. ISBN 9780395660744. Ages 10+. Survival stories of Jewish children are displayed in black and white photographs, creating a mosaic of somber memories and stolen childhoods.
Lowry, L. (1989). Number the Stars. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. 137p. Hardcover, $12.99. ISBN 9780395510605. Ages 9+. It is 1943, Nazi soldiers have occupied Denmark, and Annemarie must find the courage to help save Ellen, her Jewish friend, from relocation.
Orlev, U. (2003). Run, Boy, Run. Translated from the Hebrew by Hillel Halkin. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. 186p. Hardcover, $15.00. ISBN 9780618164653. Ages 10+. Concerned only with staying alive, an orphaned, eight-year-old Jewish boy must assume a new religion, name, and history in order to survive.
Patt, B. (2010). Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook. Illustrated by Shula Klinger. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish Children. 92p. Hardcover, $17.99. ISBN 9780761455776. Ages 9+. From a Japanese-American internment camp, Dottie sends letters and drawings to Louise who keeps a scrapbook of their war-torn friendship.
Ruelle, K. G. & DeSaix, D. D. (2008). The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust. Illustrated by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix. New York, NY: Holiday House. 40p. Hardcover, $17.95. ISBN 9780823421596. Ages 8-12. Blending fact and fiction, oil painted illustrations tell of brave Muslims risking their lives to hide Parisian Jews from danger.
Tunnell, M. O. (1996). The Children of Topaz: The Story of a Japanese-American Interment Camp. New York, NY: Holiday House. 74p. Hardcover, $16.95. ISBN 9780823412396. Ages 9+. The diary of a third-grade teacher in a Japanese-American internment camp reveals the resilience of children when their lives are uprooted.
- One of most devastating periods of human history, regardless of how distant it may seem, needs to be researched and understood by older children. The cultures, religions, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, and mental handicaps that were persecuted deserve to have a voice in children’s literature. Although these materials are divided between Jewish and Japanese-American victims during World War II, there were many groups terrorized during the rise of Hitler and the Axis powers. That being said, children should have access to materials that allow them to understand this period in history.
- Due to the often violent and mature content associated with war, imprisonment, the Holocaust, and discrimination, this list is recommended for children ages 9-12. Most children under eight are not well suited for these items but, knowing there are some mature enough for the content, I do not wish to exclude them entirely from utilizing this resource. Further, this list could certainly be used by tweens as a way to work towards reading larger history books. The nonfiction titles I have included are packed with photographs and are the perfect length for readers hesitant to tackle a large book about World War II history.
- Having a profound appreciation for World War II history, and having reviewed two titles from this list in previous coursework, I knew where to begin with at the onset of my research. Just as in my first recommended reading list, I used Amazon, Booklist, and the Worldcat catalog (Library of Congress Subject Heading search) to include with my initial decisions. I read each of the following titles: The Orphans of Normandy, Hitler Youth, Number the Stars, Run, Boy, Run, and The Grand Mosque of Paris. For the remaining titles I relied on speed reading a few chapters in each in order to gauge the writing style, content, and age range. For every title I sought out information from the School Library Journal, Booklist, Paper Tigers, and/or Amazon for summaries, reviews, and assistance in determining the appropriate age ranges.
-Kaitlyn Broberg for LIS 656: Children’s Materials Evaluation and Use