The Man Who Walked Between The Towers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Man Who Walked Between The Towers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.4 28
by Mordicai Gerstein
     
 

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In 1974, as the World Trade Center was being completed, a young French aerialist, Philippe Petit, threw a tight rope between the towers and spent almost an hour walking, dancing, and performing tricks a quarter of a mile in the sky.  See more details below

Overview

In 1974, as the World Trade Center was being completed, a young French aerialist, Philippe Petit, threw a tight rope between the towers and spent almost an hour walking, dancing, and performing tricks a quarter of a mile in the sky.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
Gerstein's ink and oil paintings of that "joyful morning" aren't for anyone with a fear of heights; the perspectives are dizzying enough to make the strongest stomach lurch. — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
This effectively spare, lyrical account chronicles Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between Manhattan's World Trade Center towers in 1974. Gerstein (What Charlie Heard) begins the book like a fairy tale, "Once there were two towers side by side. They were each a quarter of a mile high... The tallest buildings in New York City." The author casts the French aerialist and street performer as the hero: "A young man saw them rise into the sky.... He loved to walk and dance on a rope he tied between two trees." As the man makes his way across the rope from one tree to the other, the towers loom in the background. When Philippe gazes at the twin buildings, he looks "not at the towers but at the space between them.... What a wonderful place to stretch a rope; a wire on which to walk." Disguised as construction workers, he and a friend haul a 440-pound reel of cable and other materials onto the roof of the south tower. How Philippe and his pals hang the cable over the 140-feet distance is in itself a fascinating-and harrowing-story, charted in a series of vertical and horizontal ink and oil panels. An inventive foldout tracking Philippe's progress across the wire offers dizzying views of the city below; a turn of the page transforms readers' vantage point into a vertical view of the feat from street level. When police race to the top of one tower's roof, threatening arrest, Philippe moves back and forth between the towers ("As long as he stayed on the wire he was free"). Gerstein's dramatic paintings include some perspectives bound to take any reader's breath away. Truly affecting is the book's final painting of the imagined imprint of the towers, now existing "in memory"-linked by Philippe and his high wire. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This eloquently written and craftily illustrated book details for children the true story of famed French aerialist Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. In the bulk of the book, Gerstein captures the awe-striking beauty of the event with lyrical words and simple but dramatic oil-and-pen illustrations. The somewhat awkward mention in the last two pages of the events of September 11, 2001, though, may be a bit abrupt and may confuse children about the relationship between it and the tightrope feat. In those pages, however, Gerstein manages to both address the issue that could not very well be left out of a story about the twin towers and give children a glimpse of the shock and dismay that the world felt at their fall. 2003, Roaring Brook Press, Ages 3 to 8.
— Stacey King
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 6-In 1974, a young Frenchman saw the completion of the World Trade Center towers as an irresistible invitation to stretch a cable between them and dance across it. Gorgeous oil-and-ink paintings capture the aerialist's spirited feat and breathtaking perspectives high above Manhattan harbor. Winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A spare recounting of Philippe Petit's daring 1974 wire walk between the Twin Towers depicts him as a street performer who defies authority to risk his feat, is arrested, and then sentenced to perform for the children of New York. At the conclusion, on the only non-illustrated page are the stark words, "Now the towers are gone," followed by the changed skyline and finally by a skyline on which are etched the ghost-like shapes of the towers as memory of the buildings and of Petit's exploit. At the heart are the spreads of Petit on the narrow wire, so far above the city that Earth's curve is visible. Two ingenious gatefolds draw readers' eyes into the vertiginous sweep of wirewalker-sky and city below. Unparalleled use of perspective and line-architectural verticals opposed to the curve of wires and earth-underscore disequilibrium and freedom. In a story that's all about balance, the illustrations display it exquisitely in composition. Readers of all ages will return to this again and again for its history, adventure, humor, and breathtaking homage to extraordinary buildings and a remarkable man. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5+)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781417774913
Publisher:
San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/29/2007
Edition description:
THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Mordicai Gerstein's recent books include the highly praised What Charlie Heard. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Northhampton, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
November 25, 1935
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
Education:
Chouinard Institute of Art
Website:
http://www.mordicaigerstein.com

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The Man Who Walked Between the Towers 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
jenxloves More than 1 year ago
This book is such a beautiful tribute to the Twin Towers and Philippe Petit's story. For children who do not know of the tragedy of the 9/11, this is a good book to talk about that lesson. It is an amazing story of this man who walked between the towers, could you imagine doing such a thing? This book tells his tale wonderfully and gives a sense of adventure. Educational and adventurous, the kids will love it. This deserves to be brought out all year long, not just in September. Great read, pick it up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mordical Gerstein is the author and illustrator of more than thirty books for children. He won the Caldecott Medal for The Man Who Walked Between The Towers in 2004. He lives with his wife, Susan Harris, and their daughter, Risa, in Northampton, Massachusetts. A young aerialist named Philippe Petit watched two towers being built in New York City. He remembered dancing on a wire between the steeples of Notre Dame Cathedral in his home city of Paris, and he wanted to dance on a wire between the two towers. He knew that the police and the people who owned the building would not allow him to do that, so one day him and a friend of his dressed up as construction workers and snuck into the tower. They took a four-hundred-and-forty-pound reel of cable and other equipment into the elevator, and up to the top ten unfinished floors. They waited until it was night, and then carried everything up one hundred and eighty stairs to the roof. Two of his other friends were waiting on the other tower. They shot an arrow across to him, but it missed. It landed fifteen feet below the roof. Philippe had to climb down after the arrow. He tied a stronger rope to he arrow, and on the end of the stronger rope he tied the cable that he was going to walk on. It took the men all night to everything ready for Philippe to walk on the wire. He put on his black shirt and tights, picked up his twenty-eight foot balancing pole, and stepped onto the wire. A woman coming off of the subway noticed him, and then soon other people along with the police also seen him. The police rushed to the top of the towers, and told him that he was under arrest. Philippe knew that as long as he was on the wire he was free. He dance, ran, walked, knelt in a salute, and even lay down to rest for almost an hour. After he felt satisfied, he walked back to the roof and held out his wrists for the handcuffs. The judge sentenced Philippe with an unusual sentence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is about a man named Philippe who walked between the Twin Towers in 1974. I really enjoyed this book because it was a true story. The book also showed how if you believe in yourself then you can accomplish anything. My favorite line in the book is on the last page. It says, ¿But in memory, as if imprinted on the sky, the towers are still there. And part of that memory is the joyful morning, August 7, 1974, when Philippe Petit walked between them in the air.¿ No matter if something we love is gone, the memory still stays in our hearts. Mordecai Gerstein is the author and illustrator of his books. He always wanted to be an artist as a child and never dreamed that he would be an author. He moved to New York City where he did animated commercials to support his family. Elizabeth Levy inspired him in 1970 to begin writing. He was the Caldecott award winner in 2004 for this book. Gerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. Brookfield: Roaring Book Press. 2003.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CDSherwood81 More than 1 year ago
My child brought this book home from his school library the day after we watched the "Man on Wire" movie together. The illustrations brought the book alive, and it is a good way to start a conversation with young children about the September 11th tragedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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DevinLozano More than 1 year ago
An image of tragedy and sorrow comes to anyone's mind when the Twin Towers are mentioned. This can be a touchy subject for some so I would advise thinking about this before reading it to children. With this being said, the book is about Phillipe Petit who walked on a tight rope between the World Trade Center. He did this against the will of the police, as mentioned in the book, but I do not think children will take it as a defiance of authority. The book is well illustrated and well narrated. The memory that it leaves us with about the Twin Towers is a light hearted and joyful one. The man brought joy and maybe even fright to some people but this book is a good recollection of those times. I would recommend this book to 3rd graders and up.
VMCFARLEY More than 1 year ago
The Man Who Walked Between The Towers could be used for any grade level in my opinion. However, even though this book is great for my upper level students, I think that instead of giving it to my students to read outside of class, I would read it to them as a read aloud, or we could read it together (a chapter each day). The Man Who Walked Between The Towers shows a man's courage and bravery while he decides to walk between towers on a string. The man goes through obstacles with the police and also with the people of the town. He tries to make a statement while also having faith in himself on being able to walk in between the towers. I would use this book to show the students, especially in primary grades, that having faith in yourself can take you a long way. The people of the city did not believe that the man could do that, but he did it. This book shows a great deal of courage, character, bravery, and also honesty. It can be used to incorporate any of these characteristics inside the classroom. I feel like it would also be great if there are certain issues in the classroom that need to be addressed, such as students not believing in themselves or students singling out others because of their race, sex, etc. It could be a great way to address these situations in a different type of approach.
AmandaG19 More than 1 year ago
THE MAN WHO WALKED BETWEEN THE TOWERS was written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein and is the winner of the Caldecott Award. This book tells the true story of Philippe Petit. The illustrations are beautiful and compliment the writing very well. The pictures help the reader in putting themselves in the shoes of Philippe. I had actually never heard of Philippe Petit and this book introduces him in so well! The entire time I thought I was simply reading a fictional story. Gerstein introduces the dream of the main character first of walking between the two towers. He then brings in the characters name, Philippe. Gerstein tells the story of Philippe Petit's past accomplishments, his new dream, and his journey towards over coming his new challenge of walking between the towers. You, too, should pick up this book and take the journey that Gerstein will take you on while reading what it was like for Philippe Petit they day he was THE MAN WHO WALKED BETWEEN THE TOWERS! "Life should be lived on the edge. See everyday as a true challenge, and then you live your life on the tight rope." - Philippe Petit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyday I fall a little more in love with this book and the movie! I saw Phillipe on the news when the event happened.I am just as entralled by all that magic and imagination as when my eyes beheld such beauty.He is the trickster par excellent.I look forward to the fine day I see him live up close. He brings to mind the song "Like A Bird On A Wire" by Leonard Cohen.AND LEON RUSSELL'S I'M UP ON A TIGHTROPE.
YaffaOra More than 1 year ago
A terific book to discuss the Twin Towers with kids without talking about 9/11. I bring this book as a gift and everyone loves it. The illustrations are beautiful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to keep the memories of the Twin Towers alive to children! It is about a true story of a man who tied a rope between the two towers and walked across them. ' All his life he had worked to be here to do this'. ' He was not afraid'It would be good for 4th graders!Gerstein, Mordicia. The Man Who Walked Between Towers. New York, NY: Roaring Brock Press, 2003.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shawna Wyatt Book Review The Man Who Walked Between the Towers Authored By: Mordicai Gerstein This is a story of a performer who walked a tight rope between the twin towers. This book would appeal to children and adults. The illustrations are so real, the perception of height and depth is great. A great book to introduce an art lesson on height and depth. From a very young age Mordicai Gerstein knew he would be a painter. Being in any other profession never even crossed his mind. He moves from California o New York He worked on commercials to support his family. He never dreamed that that he would be an author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mordicai Gerstein is the author and illustrator of this book about Philippe Petit, a French aerialist, who walked on a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center. This story is fun and exciting as we go with Philippe on his adventure. As a special feature, there are a few pages that fold out for a better view of the photos. One of these fold out pages are so realistic, I felt like I was going to fall off the wire. It was really interesting to learn about this real person¿s adventure. It is a real page-turner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Philippe Petit loved to do many different types of street performances, ¿but most of all he loved to walk and dance on a rope he tied between two trees.¿ Whenever he saw two towers side by side he wanted to walk between them in mid air, and when he saw the World Trade Towers he decided that he was going to walk between them as well (he didn¿t care if it was against the law). So he set up a sneaky plan to do it very early one morning, and even though setting it up did not go exactly as planned, ¿as the rising sun lit up the towers, out he stepped onto the wire.¿ Now all he had to do was make it all the way across without falling. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a truly inspirational story for people of all ages. It is the true story of someone who walked illegally on a tightrope between the two World Trade Towers. While the thought of someone balancing in midair that high above the ground makes me sick to my stomach, the story does have a very valuable lesson. This book teaches you that if you try hard enough, and really work at something, you may be able to fulfill some of your wildest dreams. Mordicai Gerstein lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with his wife, Susan Yard Harris, who is also an illustrator, and their daughter. From the time he was very little, his parents encouraged him to become an artist, and he eventually went on to become a painter , a sculptor , and a prize winning designer and director of animated films. Then to his own surprise, in 1980, he began writing and illustrating his own books. To date, he has written and illustrated more than thirty books for children. Gerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. Brookfield: Roaring Brook Press, 2003. RL: Ages 5-8, Grades K-3
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a great book! It tells about the towers at the end and there is a boy who wants to walk across very high towers. He does but the policemen don't like him to. Neither does the person who owns the buildings. I want you to read it because it's so much fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Caldcott The book has high wire action! Not only is the story inspirational, but the illustrations are beautiful. This a true story of a French street performer who dared to walk a tightrope between the Twin Towers. The tale is told in a way that appeals to both children and adults. Because the story is non-fiction, the characters and the plot are quite believable. The stunt pulled was illegal, and the resulting consequence sounded like fun, rather than a punishment, an example of this was ¿The judge sentenced him to perform in the park for the children of the city¿ that doesn¿t sound too bad. Overall, the story is well written. I truly appreciated learning a story from the early days of the Twin Towers. Other than being an author, Mordicai Gerstein is a painter, sculptor, and prize-winning designer and director of animated films. Gerstein began writing and illustrating his own books in 1980. Bibliography Gerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. New York: Scholastic, 2004.
Guest More than 1 year ago
CALDECOTT: The Man Who Walked Between The Towers, book made me sick to my stomach. I am very afraid of heights and the thought of someone being up that high walking on a cable I could not stand. The book made me feel like I was there, that I was up on the cable with the man. I could feel the wind blowing and the cable bouncing. It is a good book for children. It was entertaining and exciting, but the thoughts of being up that high I did not like. Mordicai Gerstein has a snapshot of himself at the age of four. He was holding brushes and standing in front of an easel. It seems his parents wanted an artist. He never thought he would be anything else. He never dreamed he¿d be an author. Writing stories and creating characters that spoke and had lives seemed real was, to him, an amazing and mysterious ability. He wanted to be a painter. When he finished art school he moved from Los Angeles, where he was born, to New York City. To support his family, he designed and directed animated television commercials. He met Elizabeth Levy in 1970 and that changed everything. She was a young writer who had written a mystery for children, and she invited him to illustrate it. The story was called, Something Queer is Going On. It became a series of books, and more then 30 years later, they are still doing it. He loved the picture book medium. Encouraged by Liz Levy and other editors, he began trying to write his own stories. He loves making books. Each ones seems to him be essentially different from the others, and each is surprise to him. Along with writing and illustrating books for children, Mordicai Gerstein is a painter, sculptor, and prize-winning designer and director of animated films. Born in Los Angeles, Gerstein attended the Chouinard Institute of Art before moving to New York City where he lived and worked for twenty-five years making animated films for television. In 1971, Mordicai collaborated with author Elizabeth Levy to create the 'Something Queer is Going On' series of mystery books for Delacorte Press. Gerstein began writing and illustrating his own books in 1980. His books are wide-ranging in subject, style, and the age groups addressed, from contemporary fantasy and Biblical retellings, to biography and absurd alphabets, for preschoolers, high schoolers, and even adults. Mordicai Gerstein lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, Susan Yard Harris, who is also an illustrator, and their daughter, Risa. The book, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, is about a man that performs tricks. He juggles, rides a unicycle, and walked and danced on a rope tied between two trees. One day he decided he wanted to walk between the two twin towers in New York. The towers were still under construction and not yet finished. Of course, the police and the owner of the building would not allow it. So, he and some friends snuck up there one night. They set things up, so when morning came he would be able to walk across the cable. Morning came and they man began out on the cable. He gathered a crowd and began doing tricks. Eventually, the police came and was told he was going to be arrested. He was sentenced to perform for children by the judge. ¿At midnight, on the other tower¿s roof, two more friends tied a thin, strong line to an arrow and shot it across to Philippe, one hundred and forty feet away¿. This is the part of the story where they are setting things up so, the next morning the man can walk and dance between the two towers. ¿Officers rushed to the roofs of the towers. You¿re under arrest! they shouted through bullhorns¿. This is the part of the story where the man has gathered a crowd and has begun doing his tricks, when officers notice him. Then decide they are going to arrest him. Gerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked Between The Towers. Brookfield: Roaring Brook Press, 2003. Grade Level: 3rd
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book! Not only is the story inspirational, but the illustrations are beautiful, and definitely deserved the 2004 Caldecott Medal. Gerstein tells the true story of a French street performer who dared to walk a tightrope between the Twin Towers. The tale is told in a way that appeals to both children and adults. Because the story is non-fiction, the characters and the plot are quite believable. The main character¿s adventurous spirit is exemplified by the detailed illustrations of his daring feats. However, I feel that Gerstein only showed the main character¿s side of the story. The stunt pulled was illegal, and the resulting consequence sounded like fun, rather than a punishment. Overall, the story is well written. I truly appreciated learning a story from the early days of the Twin Towers. I would recommend this book for a classroom.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't like the stark drawings throughout the book. I know he followed his dream but he did do it illegally. As a schoolteacher I am fighting daily to make the point that one should follow the rules. Today children don't grasp consequences. If the author would have made a clearer point that he was wrong and that he had to be punished, I would have been happier. I did enjoy parts of the story, especially when he laid on the wire. Wow, he was brave to do that and perform for an hour with the winds buffing him relentlessly. I admire the perfomer but not the law breaker.