by Victor Hugo | Grades 10-12
Before the huge crowd that packed the cathedral square, La Esmeralda stood between two executioners. Suddenly Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, rushed at the executioners and felled them with his enormous fists. He snatched the gypsy girl in one arm and ran with her into the church. A moment later he appeared at the top of the bell tower. Holding the girl above his head, he showed her triumphantly to all of Paris while his thunderous voice roared savagely to the sky: “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! Sanctuary!”
Set amid the riot, intrigue, and pageantry of medieval Paris, Victor Hugo’s masterful tale of heroism and adventure has been a perennial favorite since its first publication in 1831 and remains one of the most thrilling stories of all time.