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Mulgrew Middle School Summer Trip to Paris
French Teacher and Chaperone.
Built like a tank, with only one eyebrow.
Vault of European Information.
In Command of All Details.
Astral Traveler and Channeler of Messages from the Universe.
Obsessed with All That Is French.
Insists on pronouncing own name Jah-nay.
Computer God. Walking Pillar of Geekdom.
Bud and Chaz:
The Football Guys.
Heads suspiciously jar shaped.
Last name unknown.
To everyone's knowledge, has never spoken.
And, of course . . .
Self-Appointed Official Diarist of the Trip and Writer Extraordinaire.
This third episode finds eighth-grader Lily and seven of her classmates in Paris. During the trip, she keeps a journal that she is sure will provide material for her Great Parisian Novel. She admits in the very first line that "Everything I know about Paris, I've learned from the Madeline books." The class geek, the Vault of Information, and the flower child provide comic relief, if not believable story lines as the detail-disoriented Lily careers through the city without ever reading the guidebook or listening to the chaperone. References to pop culture may stump readers and rob this book of a timeless feel, but it will satisfy those looking for light, fun fiction.
—Cheryl AshtonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Everything I know about Paris, I've learned from my Madeline books. I know, for example, that it is not unusual for houses in Paris to be covered with vines. I know that if you are a parentless little girl, you can go to stay with Miss Clavel, the nun, and walk around the city with your yellow-hatted homegirls in two perfectly straight lines. I know that if you develop appendicitis in the dead of night, caring medical assistance is rapidly available.
But the most notable thing about the Madeline books is that Paris served as the author's inspiration. And if Paris can do that for Ludwig Bemelmans, it can do it for me, too. Yes, Dear Readers, my Great Parisian Novel will soon be born, because the time has come for Lily Blennerhassett to get serious about writing. The world cannot be expected to wait much longer. I have honed my craft by keeping diaries and penning advice columns, but the subjects I wrote about weren't really Life Experiences of International Interest. A trip to Paris, however, is a whole other story. Things of International Interest happen in Paris. After all, it is the City of Lights. The model for all that is elegant and timeless. The archetype for true culture and sophistication, the kind that we in America lost somewhere between the Big Mac andthe Starbucks Frappuccino.
I don't have a plot yet. But I'm not going to worry about that. My job is to search out gems and nuggets of Paris at its most elegant and mysterious. Then I will add them to my Mental Pool. There are heated pools, public pools, aboveground pools, and wading pools, but to my knowledge I am the only individual in my school district with a Mental Pool. This is where I collect all my gems and nuggets and store them for later literary use. My Mental Pool already contains many amusing and baffling gems and nuggets. But I don't think any of them are novelworthy. Mark my words, my Parisian Mental Pool gems and nuggets will be novelworthy. And I will find Extraordinary Characters. Because our little group making up the Mulgrew Middle School Paris Class Trip is not exactly brimming with Extraordinary Characters.
There were eight of us—nine if you counted the chaperone—enjoying the luxurious accommodations provided by John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 1. Let me describe them to you, Dear Reader:
Traveler Number One. First, and most important, me. Lily Blennerhassett. I am, naturally, the Official Diarist of the trip. The Immortalizer of our Exploits. The Recorder of our Recreation. The Accountant of our Antics. Nothing will escape my keen eye or my razor wit. Years hence readers wanting more after devouring my Great Parisian Novel will peruse my original diary entries, and Paris will spring to life before them. The pages themselves will smell lightly of Dijon mustard and baguettes. Ernest Hemingway said that "Paris is a movable feast." In the hands of the capable yet hip Lily Blennerhassett, I predict the city will be upgraded to a Snack Bar on Wheels. So we've got that going for us. And that's good.
Traveler Number Two. Charlotte McGrath. Locator of Passports, Instant Calculator of euro to dollar value, and Vault of Information regarding the cultural and legal guidelines within which we will find ourselves in France. Also my best friend. Shrink, parole officer, and life coach in one. A must on any transatlantic journey.
Traveler Number Three. Bonnie Roberts. Astral Traveler, Channeler of Universal Messages, and New Age Wise Woman. Has the tannest feet of any human being not currently famous I've ever seen. Brings new level of chic to peasant blouses and ankle bracelets. And, notably, sister of Jake. Through the injustice of our society's fixation on birth dates, Jake is literally in a different class from me. He's fifteen, a year older. And therefore not qualifiable to join the eighth (soon to be ninth) grade class trip. He had his own class trip last year actually, to Italy. Please ponder the Magnificent Wrongness of this: I travel to the city known throughout the world for its Celebration of Romance, and for the first time in my life I have a boyfriend. But he must remain at home. Oh, how it plagues me! I cannot continue this paragraph.
Traveler Number Four. Janet Graham. Obsessed with All That Is French. Professional Irritant of the First Degree. Teacher's Pet. Also, insists on her name being pronounced Jah-nay Gra-hahmme. Utterly ridiculous.
Traveler Number Five: Lewis Pilsky. Computer God. Poster Child for the Internet Generation. Walking Pillar of Geekdom. Not the cutest boy on the block, but he means well. Small for his age, but try to pretend you don't notice.
Travelers Number Six and Seven: Bud and Chaz, the Football Guys. Attending this school trip because it may prevent them from failing Intro to French. Become animated only when discussing professional sports. Heads suspiciously jar shaped.
Traveler Number Eight: We call him the Mysterious Tim. Last name unknown. Has attended Mulgrew for only one year. To the knowledge of everyone I've asked, Tim has never spoken to anybody, though once a rumor circulated that the friend of a girl whose brother used to be in my literature class heard him say thank you to the lunch lady when she gave him extra Tater Tots. Whatever. Can't take gossip too seriously.
So you see, our little Paris group will not be flocking together, as we are not exactly birds of a feather. I'm not sure we're even members of the same species. But variety is the spice of life, or so they tell me. Did I mention my name? It's Lily Blennerhassett, Writer Extraordinaire.
After what seemed to be an unnecessarily prolonged period of agonizing at the gate, we were advised via loudspeaker to board the plane. I know it may come as a kind of shock, Dear Readers, since I have such a . . .
Excerpted from Lily B. on the Brink of Paris by Elizabeth Kimmel Copyright © 2007 by Elizabeth Kimmel. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted May 12, 2012
Posted February 18, 2012
Posted June 17, 2011
This is a great book but to understand it u have to read the whole series which they dont have in the nook color store they only have this one. So before u read this go to your locsl library and look for lily b. On the brink of cool and lily b. On the brink of love.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2007
i bought this book and i have got to say, it has been the best one in the bunch! ms. kimmel's writing has gotten way better! her books go from ok, to good, to GREAT! i would reccomend this to anyone looking for an awesome read! deffinately worth the 5 stars! YOU NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK IF YOU DON'T ALREADY HAVE IT! and i mean it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 15, 2010
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Posted May 17, 2010
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