JUNE 2017 Issue

US Sawiris Library

Summertime, and the livin' is easy

Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high

"Books aplenty from your library"
So hush, little baby, don't you cry

Mostly by Gershwin and Heyward ;-)

Welcome to our last issue of the year.


With June already upon us, I can not resist but look back at the incredible year we have had. The opening of the Sawiris library is without doubt our most precious and memorable moment. It has been 6 months already and I can only rejoice at the ease with which everyone has embraced the new environment, created new habits and routines, and acknowledged the chance we all have. 


Aside from a few English titles, the majority of the materials in our New Additions section this month are in French, from novels and DVDs to Bandes dessinées, mangas and graphic novels. Bonne lecture !


I bring your attention to this month's Book Highlights section featuring reviews by teachers Elizabeth Lefevre, Chris Friendly, Dr. James Wehrli and yours truly. 


Mr. Tremblay and I take this early opportunity to thank you for your readership and constant support. We wish you a wonderful and safe summer.

Mario Chioini 

US Librarian




Summer reading

Please note that most of the titles listed on the English and Moderns departments summer reading lists can be found in the library.


Summer checkout 

To take advantage of summer checkouts we require a deposit in the form of a check which will be given back when you return the materials on or before August 30. 


 Fee, per item:
 . Paperback: 15 €. 
 . Hardback: 25 €
 . DVD: 10 €
 . CD: 10 €
 . Playaway audiobook: 50 €


Book Club

Our parents-faculty book club will resume next Fall. On Tuesday, September 12, we will be discussing Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell. I hope you'll find the time to join us. Please contact M. Chioini.

Call for Students

We'll be looking for a small group of students to help us plan and run activities next year such as book clubs, online book trailers, reading competitions, etc. Think about joining.

Poetry by Heart

Early next Fall, students in grades 9 to 12 will be given the chance to represent ASP at the 2018 Poetry by Heart recitation competition organised by Ecole Jeannine Manuel. More details in our September issue.



The small e icon preceeding a call number indicates the item is an electronic book (e-book).





Goscinny, 1926-1977. Illustrations by Albert Uderzo. Le tour de Gaule d'Astérix. Paris, France : Hachette, 2011, c1965.


When the Romans build a wall around Asterix's village, he and Obelix embark on a trip around the country collecting local specialties along the way.


Goscinny, 1926-1977. Illustrations by Albert Uderzo. Astérix en Hispanie. Paris, France : Hachette, 1999, c1969.

Asterix and his friends are holding out against Julius Caesar, but when the son of Chief Huevos y Bacon is taken hostage, the Gauls jump to the rescue to bring him home to Hispania where they get wrapped up with the tourist industry and flamenco.



Goscinny, 1926-1977. Illustrations by Albert Uderzo. Astérix en Corse. Paris, France : Hachette, 1999, c1970.


Asterix and Obelix help Chief Boneywasawarriorwayayix of Corsica foil Praetor Perfidius's plans and Julius Caesar's army.



Goscinny, 1926-1977. Illustrations by Albert Uderzo. La grande traversée. Paris, France : Hachette, 1999, c1975.


While fishing at sea, Asterix and Obelix are blown off course and when they finally find land, the place and the people are like nothing they've experienced before.






Uderzo, Albert. Le grand fossé. Paris, France : Editions Albert René.


Two lovers call upon Asterix and Obelix to help convice their fathers to put aside their political differences and let the couple marry.



Uderzo, Albert. L'odyssée d'Astérix. Paris, France : Editions Albert René, c1981.


Asterix and Obelix set off to prospect for black gold in the Middle Eastern desert so the druid Getafix can create the magic potion that gives the Gaulish villagers superhuman strength.



Asensi, Matilde, 1962-. Iacobus. Paris, France : Gallimard, 2003, c2000.

Galceran de Born, a knight of a military religious order, the mortal enemy of the Knights of Templar, is commissioned by Pope John XXII to investigate the murders of Pope Clement V, King Philippe IV of France, and William of Nogaret.



Asensi, Matilde, 1962-. Le dernier caton. Paris, France : Gallimard, 2006, c2001.

Assigned by the Roman Catholic Church to examine a corpse with tattoos connected to the seven deadly sins, Dante's "Divine Comedy," and the True Cross, Vatican paleographer Ottavia Salina embarks on a treacherous journey from Rome to Antioch investigating the secrets of a brotherhood that has hidden the Cross for centuries and is stealing its scattered fragments from ancient Christian cities.



Beaup, Yveline. Le crime n'est jamais parfait : nouvelles policières 1. Paris, France : Flammarion, 2015, c2002.

Collects four riveting and irresistibly addictive tales of crimes and those who unravel them.


Boileau-Narcejac. Sans Atout et le cheval fantôme. Paris, France : Gallimard, 1999, c1971.

First book in the "Sans Atout" juvenile fiction series wrtitten by famous French crime fiction writers Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. They relate the adventures of a young boy detective.




Brooks, Max. World War Z. Paris, France : Librairie Générale Française, 2012, c2006.

Max Brooks, son of actor Mel Brooks, chronicles the fictitious "zombie wars" that nearly decimated the human population, with first-hand accounts from people who have had a brush with the undead and facts and figures documenting how many undead currently roam the planet.



Carrisi, Donato, 1973-. Le chuchoteur. Paris, France : Librairie Générale Française, 2011, c2009.

Investigators, Mila Vasquez and Goran Gavila, are trying to solve a bizarre crime after discovering six severed arms arranged in a circle, of which, five belong to missing girls.




Desplat-Duc, Anne-Marie. Les colombes du Roi-Soleil. 4 volumes. Paris, France : Flammarion, c2006, c2005.


A series of historical novels about four young girls growing up in Versailles at the court of the "Sun King".


Lackberg, Camilla, 1974-. La princesse des glaces. Avignon, France : Actes Sud, 2008, c2004.

Not long after Erica Falck returns to her hometown of Fjallbacka to attend her parents' funeral, Erica learns that her best friend, Alex, has committed suicide and sets out to commemorate her lost friend's life by writing a book, but startling truths begin to emerge when Erica teams up with local detective Patrik Hedstrom.

Slimani, Leila, 1981-. Chanson douce : roman. Paris, France : Gallimard, c2016.

Story of a middle-class couple who employ the seemingly perfect nanny, only to come home one day and find she has murdered both of their children.



Véry, Pierre. Les disparus de Saint-Agil. Paris, France : Gallimard, 2005, 1935.


Shortly before the war, strange things happen at night at the School of Saint-Agil. Students begin to disappear... Three students of Saint-Agil, Beaume Sorgue and Macroy, have created a secret society to prepare leaving for America.



741.5 BIR (Fr)


Birmant, Julie. Pablo, Volume 4. Paris, France : Dargaud, c2014.


This fourth and last volume deals with Picasso getting into an African period which led to Cubism right before he became one of the world's best-loved artists.


741.5 FER (Fr)


Fernandes, José Carlos. Le plus mauvais groupe du monde : épisodes 1 & 2. Paris, France : Editions Cambourakis, 2009, c1998.


Within a black and urban setting, the worst band in the world is formed, the outcome of an unbelievable blend of ineptitude and a total absence of musical awareness. Using his perfect mastery of the art of narration, Jose Carlos Fernandes depicts a world bearing a strong resemblance to ours. The stories, each a separate tale in its own right, tell of destinies that brush shoulders with each other, that collide as it were, without ever really intertwining.

741.5 KUS (Fr)


Kusumi, Masayuki. Le gourmet solitaire. Paris, France : Casterman, c2005.


As salesman Goro Inogashira travels Japan, he visits various restaurants and street booths to sample the local cuisine. Each chapter features a different place and dish.


741.5 LUP (Fr)

Lupano, Wilfrid. Un océan d'amour. Paris, France : Delcourt, c2014.

Silent graphic novel telling the story of an elderly couple of a fisherman and a housewife. One day the man disappears together with his boat and the woman embarks on a quest of finding her husband.


741.5 ODA (Fr)

Oda, Eiichiro, 1975-. One piece. 5 volumes. French ed. Grenoble, France : Glenat, 2005, c1997.

Japanese manga story that follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man whose body gained the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit. With his crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy explores the Grand Line in search of the world's ultimate treasure known as "One Piece" in order to become the next Pirate King.

741.5 TAN (Fr)

Taniguchi, Jiro. Le journal de mon père. Paris, France : Casterman, 2016, c1995.

A heartfelt, historical novel that follows the life of a male protagonist that returns to his hometown of Tottori after his father's death.


842 PAG (Fr)


Pagnol, Marcel, 1895-1974. Marius. Paris, France : Editions de Fallois, 2004, 1929.


Marius works in his father's bar and loves Fanny, but has always dreamed of traveling the world.

842 PAG (Fr)


Pagnol, Marcel, 1895-1974. Fanny. Paris, France : Editions de Fallois, 2004, 1931.


After her boyfriend Marius departs on a five year trip, Fanny discovers she is pregnant and must weigh her options.


842 PAG (Fr)


Pagnol, Marcel, 1895-1974. César. Paris, France : Editions de Fallois, 2004, 1936.


When Fanny's husband dies, it is up to his young widow to tell her son that his real father is Marius, the son of Panisse's best friend Cesar. The boy sets out to find Marius and learn about his father.

940.54 LEVI (Fr)

Levi, Primo, 1919-1987. Si c'est un homme. Paris, France : Pocket, 2016, c1958.

The author, a Jewish Italian citizen, provides an account of his ten months at Auschwitz, where he was sent in 1943 after being deported from his native Turin.





Casse-tête chinois. French ed. Paris, France : Universal Pictures Video, 2014, c2013. Directed by Cédric Klapisch.

A 40-year-old father of two still finds life very complicated. When the mother of his children moves from Paris to New York, he can't bear them growing up far away from him, so he decides to move there as well.



La loi du marché. French ed. Boulogne-Billancourt, France : TF1 Video, c2015. Directed by Stéphane Brizé.


Thierry has been unemployed for 18 months, having lost his job as a factory worker. At the age of 51, he lands a new job as a security guard in a supermarket and tries to make ends meet in working-class France.



Lolo. French ed. Boulogne-Billancourt, France : TF1 Video, 2016, c2015.Directed by Julie Delpy.

A fortysomething Parisian career woman falls for a divorced computer programmer while vacationing in the South of France, but her 19-year-old son grows obsessed with breaking up their relationship in order to have his mom's affections all to himself.


Mr. Klein. Paris, France : Universal Pictures Video, 2009, c1976.Directed by Joseph Losey.

Set in Nazi-occupied France Mr. Klein is the riveting story of one man's search for another who shares his name, and who has stolen his identity.



Suzanne. French ed. Boulogne-Billancourt, France : TF1 Video, 2014, c2013. Directed by Katell Quillévéré.

Following Suzanne from her childhood through to her adult life, we discover life as she does, through family, the ties that bind them, keep them together, and the love she pursues... to the point of leaving everything behind.




Title: Discworld

Author: Terry Pratchett


Call number: F PRA (ff)

Reviewer: Chris Friendly


Good characters make good books. Funny characters make terrific books. Add in relevant themes and a fantasy world where anything can happen and does, you get Terry Pratchett's Discwold series of unputdownable books. They combine the British humor of Douglas Adams with stories revolving around feminism, justice, love, politics, gods, magic and a luggage chest of sapient pear-wood with a hundred legs and a grumpy attitude.


Submitted by Chris Friendly, Upper School Social Studies and Psychology teacher


NOTE: If you wish to share your library book review, please contact M. Chioini.



Title: What If Everything You Knew About Education Was Wrong 
Author: David Didau
Call number: PRO 370 DID

Reviewer: James Wehrli, Ph.D.

On my very short list of favorite education readings (including Why Don't Students Like School, The Knowledge Deficit, and "Building Evidence Into Education"), this book might very well be added. It is most effective when it knocks down or calls into question long-held (false) beliefs in education, a field which has been held to a very low bar with regard to supporting its "research" often with little more than anecdotal evidence, common sense, and zealot faith. Books like this, which draw heavily on cognitive psychology findings, are trying to reverse this hundred-year momentum.


Didau, a long-time English teacher and more recent administrator, divides his book into four sections: "Why we're wrong" discusses the cognitive biases that have led the teaching profession astray on issues, such as the learning styles myth, group work ("Feel free to have your students work in groups if you must, but don't pretend there is sufficient evidence out there to support your preferences being foisted on others"), and lectures ("….on the whole, the teacher will be the most expert, knowledgeable person in the room. Expecting them not to share their knowledge and expertise is just silly.").


"Through the threshold" discusses how cognitive psychologists believe learning does take place (invisibly, gradually, and by forgetting) and does not take place (linearly and easily). The "What could we do differently?" section is refreshingly the shortest since so many education books (and consultants) claim to have all the answers. The main lessons to be learned are that learning should be "deliberately difficult," concepts should be "spaced" and "interleaved" with others, assessing and self-testing should increase, and feedback should be reduced (yes, reduced).


"What else might we be getting wrong?" is the final section of this lengthy and extensively cited book (the appendices, "Data by the numbers" and "Five myths about intelligence" are also worth reading). Among other topics, Didau brings to light the problems surrounding other sacred cows, such as formative assessment, lesson observations, differentiation, and praise. 


Though on the whole this is a very readable book, sometimes the author might overestimate the background knowledge of the average reader. Fortunately, there are many works cited that can help fill in some of the gaps. Some parts of this book can be read piecemeal, but most effectively might be reading chapters and discussing them with others who are also open to the many counterintuitive messages the book has to offer.


Book reviewed by James Wehrli, Ph.D., Upper School Economics teacher

NOTE: If you wish to share your library book review, please contact M. Chioini.



Title: My Brilliant Friend
Author: Elena Ferrante
Call number: F FER

Reviewer: Mario Chioini


If upon hearing the name Naples you get the urge to call your best friend, and take Italian lessons it probably means that you have succumbed to the charms of Italian literary sensation Elena Ferrante (pseudonym) and her Neapolitan Novels series.


The story of a friendship is never a straightforward story to tell. It may be for that reason that Ferrante decided to spread hers over four books. The tetralogy is about the life-long friendship of Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo.


My Brilliant Friend tells the story of their youth and adolescence in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples during the 1950s. Narrated by Elena, their story is also one of a city in search of a modern self in post-war Italy. (see Elizabeth Lefevre's review below) Elena and Lila are intelligent, curious and like school but only Elena sees education as a way to escape her life while Lila prefers to continue working in the family business. Like most real-life relationships theirs is complex and not immune to challenges, doubts, jealousy, misunderstandings and a whole lot of introspection.


While the pace is at times a bit slow and you have to keep the long list of families and characters within a hand's reach My Brilliant Friend is a vivid coming-of-age story peopled with characters who are real and touching.


Note: The Neapolitan Novels was made into a 2-part play and a TV series is said to be in production.


Book reviewed by Mario Chioini, Upper School Librarian


NOTE: If you wish to share your library book review, please contact M. Chioini.




Title: The Neapolitan Novels
Author: Elena Ferrante
 4 books
Call number: F FER

Reviewer: Elizabeth Lefevre


The four books of the Napolitain Series, written by Elena Ferrante kept me interested until the end which I knew would not be resolved yet hoped would be.  Like a great meal with no desert! Or a movie with no real ending.  The conclusion is very important.  To leave a mystery is discouraging after getting to know the characters so intimately.  Almost like a liaison without closure.

Surprisingly I did not register the very first chapter of the first book either.  I must reread it.  I believe that this might be due to the complexity of that first chapter.  So many different people to meet, I kept getting lost on who was who.

That being said ….Elena's character's questioning and introspection lead us to an analyzation of people that is nonexistent today.   There are not many people who live where they grew up and can have the depth of place and people that Elena describes.  The story comes to life through the time period of post WW2 Naples and its political and industrial events.  This is also interesting for someone who knows very little about that time in history.  Events are described as if they are actually happening.   Elena writes so well with a prose so beautifully constructed that even when parts of the novel seem long it does not matter.  I often felt that I would like to quote some of the things she said.

I suppose that the novels left me hungry for the same type of communication.  I could not put them down.   This happens in older films, where the dialogue is interesting, complex and beautiful not just a few words with not much depth.  People are watching more and more series on TV so that they can feel a connection to people.  We live in a fast world with no time left for relationships and where communication is done with text messages…. What a pity!


Series reviewed by Elizabeth Lefevre, Upper School Art teacher

NOTE: If you wish to share your library book review, please contact M. Chioini.





Building 6, Room 6108,

at the top of the Atrium stairs



Monday-Thurs.: 8:30 am to 5 pm 

Friday: 8:30 am to 4 pm

During senior exams: Until 6 pm



01 41 12 82 97

American School of Paris

Mr. Mario Chioini, US Librarian,

Mr. Anthony Tremblay, US Library Assistant,


41, Rue Pasteur, 92210  |  Saint Cloud, France

School: Tel +33 (0)1 41 12 82 82, Library: +33(0)1 41 12 82 97

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