Monthly Archives: August 2011

Children’s Book Review: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Gerstein, Mordecai. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.  Roaring Brook Press, 2003. 40 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0-7613-1791-3

 What’s the story?

This is the story of French aerialist Philippe Petit who connected a tightrope between the two World Trade Center towers.


This multiple award winning book tells the story of a French aerialist who decides that he would like to walk a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers and manages to accomplish this extraordinary feat. This event happened in 1974, and reading this book is a bit unnerving knowing what will happen twenty seven years later. However, the story is beautifully and simply told. There are significant technical details about how to connect the tightrope and the book helps the reader understand how much preparation went into the final tightrope walk. In the middle of the book there is a foldout section that highlights the distance Philippe has to cross. The illustrations are in ink and oil in rich dark colors that help set the tense mood. The final words state that the tower is gone, and then a final picture of a ghostly version of the towers makes the ending quite powerful.

Awards and Recognition

Caldecott Medal 2004
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books 2003
New York Times Notable Books of the Year  2003
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year  2003
American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2004
Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards 2004

Other Formats

Book on CD: ISBN-13: 978-1595194251
Gerstein, M. (2005). The man who walked between the towers. [CD]. New York: Live Oak
Book on cassette: ISBN-13: 978-159519421-3
Gerstein, M. (2005). The man who walked between the towers. [cassette recording]. New York:
Live Oak Media.
DVD: ISBN-13: 978-0-439-76717-0
Michael Sporn Animation (Producer) & Sporn, M. (Director). (2005). The man who walked
between the towers. [motion picture].Norwalk, CT: Weston Woods Studio, Inc.
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