If you are anything like me (and for your sake, on most counts let's hope you're not...) you cannot stop thinking about our upcoming trip! While most thoughts involve visions of the Eiffel Tower dancing in my head, my latest obsessive thought has revolved around the book club I will be holding in Paris.
In the summer of 2010, I invited a group of my best female students to participate in a summer book club. Our theme was women in literature - we read pieces by strong women that reflected, for better or worse, life as a woman throughout different historical times and places. At our first meeting, in jest, one of my students said, "We should have a book club at a little café in Paris next summer!" Of course, that got me to thinking (a dangerous thing indeed...) By the end of the summer, the plan was set - our next meeting: Paris, July 2011.
After reading several amazing books over the past couple of months, two things happened: 1. I learned some very cool stuff about the literary movement in Paris (esp. Interwar and WWII years), and 2. I found the perfect book for our Paris book club!
Although last summer's group was comprised of amazing young women from Lewisburg, I would love to expand our Paris club to amazing young women AND men from Lewisburg AND Selinsgrove. Let me tell you a little about the book, then about what you will need to consider before joining the book club...
Our book selection is Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (you may click on the link to Barnes and Noble to get a synopsis and reviews of the book). At this point, I would recommend asking for it for Christmas, but hold off on reading it until closer to the summer (Mr. Switala's AP Euro students would be best served reading this during your WWII unit). Many of you may be shocked to find out that the Holocaust took place throughout occupied France - and some of its most horrific scenes took place right in Paris. In addition to reading the book, I will be putting together an information packet (mandatory reading...sorry!) as well as a list of other recommended readings about Nazi Occupied Paris (those are optional!)
The book club will be held on the morning of our last day in Paris, Monday, July 25th. I have been working on some surprises, and at this point, those in the book club will have to divert from the already scheduled trip to the Basilique St-Denis. This is where you will have to make a tough choice. If you participate in the book club, you will miss some of the scheduled excursions that day. In its place, we will do something absolutely amazing, so you won't lose out if you join us.
Here is the plan thus far: Mr. Switala will take the general group to St. Denis, while I will take those in the book club to some other place that shall remain a secret... If you're not sure, it may boil down to your own personal interest. If you are interested in general French history, art, and architecture, then Mr. Switala's tour is for you (St-Denis is one of the coolest things I've ever seen and I am genuinely disappointed to miss it!) If you are interested in WWII and the Holocaust as it pertains to Paris, then you may wish to consider coming with me. Still not sure? Talk to me!
If you think you want to join the book club (or if you have questions), please email me directly to RSVP. I do need an actual head count as I cannot accommodate more than 14 students...so consider this a "first come, first serve" situation!
Until next time...à bientôt!