I haven’t seen Les Miserables yet. Friends tell me it is moving. They say bring tissue. I’ll probably need a whole box.

It’s the intimacy, a friend suggested. In the stage version you are at a distance from the action and emotion, but when the action and emotion are in close-up on the screen it’s as if you are breathing the same air. Reading, because it takes place only 17 inches from your face and because you must picture the people and events in your mind, can be a similar experience. This is  is one of the reasons why I think we need to help kids read wisely. Emotions can disregard truth or mistake intensity for truth. We all, and kids in particular, can have trouble  putting enough distance between truth and intense emotions to see what  is what. But I digress.

Jeanette Hanscome did three posts on the novel, Les Miserables, looking at its spiritual, romantic and historical themes. If you or your teens have  seen the film, her posts may deepen and enrich that experience for you. Enjoy!

Les Miserables, Part 1

Les Miserables, Part 2

Les Miserables, Part 3


Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) She is the author of the mystery novel for girls, I Get a Clue, Desert Fires Press.  Two of her other published works for children are Marty’s Monster and Jessica Jacobs Did What?  For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.