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Book Nook: Time to Explore Paris


Our “Time to Explore Paris” docent team selected these fun and educational books to enjoy before our after the tour.

jpeg-9Les Misérables

by Victor Hugo

Monica Kulling (adapter)

Hugo began writing Les Misérables in his former home in the Place des Vosges, where we begin tracing the author’s footsteps on our tour. This abridged version by Monica Kulling is for children aged 9 and up. The story of escaped convict Jean Valjean, who steals a loaf of bread to feed his family, may not seem particularly child-friendly, but Kulling has carefully edited the original book’s 1000+ pages to create a 100-page version that is both appropriate and accessible. Much of the story takes place in Paris between 1815 and 1833, a period of the city’s history that families learn more about on our Hugo-themed walk.

Learn more about this book at

51KToqfPcLL._SX300_Les Misérables

Soundtrack for the Musical

The soundtrack of the musical adaptation of Les Misérables is another way for the entire family to approach Hugo’s novel. We vote for the 1985 London version with Patti LuPone as the tragic Fantine character.

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jpeg-10Adèle and Simon

by Barbara McClintock

One of the goals of our programs is to activate children’s historical imaginations, to encourage them to see, for example, how today’s Paris might differ from Victor Hugo’s Paris. It’s why we like this charming little storybook by Barbara McClintock, which recounts the adventures of a sister and brother walking home from school in 1907 Paris. Their route is traced on a city map in the back of the retro-designed book. Each of the characters’ stops, such as the Louvre and Notre Dame, are based on a real place where Adèle and Simon encounter actual historical figures, like Edgar Degas and Mary Cassat. This well-researched and delightfully illustrated story is for younger readers, aged 8 and under.

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