Sky Boys: Building the Empire State Building

Sky Boys: Building the Empire State Building

by James E. Ransome, James Ransome
     
 

The acclaimed team that brought readers the IRA Children’s Book Award—winning Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt is back with a riveting brick-by-brick account of how one of the most amazing accomplishments in American architecture came to be. It’s 1930 and times are tough for Pop and his son. But look! On the corner of 34th Street and 5th Avenue,

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Overview

The acclaimed team that brought readers the IRA Children’s Book Award—winning Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt is back with a riveting brick-by-brick account of how one of the most amazing accomplishments in American architecture came to be. It’s 1930 and times are tough for Pop and his son. But look! On the corner of 34th Street and 5th Avenue, a building straight and simple as a pencil is being built in record time. Hundreds of men are leveling, shoveling, hauling. They’re hoisting 60,000 tons of steal, stacking 10 million bricks, eating lunch in the clouds. And when they cut ribbon and the crowds rush in, the boy and his father will be among the first to zoom up to the top of the tallest building in the world and see all of Manhattan spread at their feet.


Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Hopkinson and Ransome chronicle the construction of this famous building through the eyes of a young boy. The present-tense text gives the book a true "You are there" feel as the author describes both the actual building process and its significance as a symbol of hope during the Depression era. The pacing is never rushed, but at the same time it moves along at an energetic clip that matches the speed that characterized the construction of this National Historic Landmark. Ransome's stunning oil paintings vary in perspective as readers look up at what was once the tallest building in the world, and then down from dizzying heights as workers perch on girders on the 47th floor, feeding pigeons while taking a break for beef stew and coffee. An author's note reflects the painstaking and careful research done by both author and illustrator to ensure as authentic a presentation as possible. This is a fascinating look at a slice of American history and a worthwhile addition to any collection.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"A symbol of hope in the darkest of times," the Empire State Building was built in record time during the Great Depression. In their latest collaboration, Hopkinson and Ransome beautifully depict its construction in one year and 45 days, as seen through the watchful eyes of a young boy. The free-verse narrative and dynamic oil paintings are a superb one-two punch, nicely complemented by endpapers celebrating the photographs of Lewis Hine, who documented the construction of the Empire State Building from 1930 to 1931. Poetic lines are packed with information, and the palette ranges from blue-sky days to rich nighttime hues to beautiful bursts of oranges, yellows and blues. As in Mordicai Gerstein's The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (2003), perspectives range from ground-level views to soaring vistas to dizzying looks down to earth from above. A beautiful work befitting its subject. (author's note, sources) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375936104
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/28/2006
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.14(w) x 11.80(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
4 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Deborah Hopkinson's most recent book is the ALA Award-Winning Apples to Oregon. Her other titles include Under the Quilt of NIght (Also illustrated by James E. Ransome) and Fannie in the Kitchen. She lives in Oregon.

James E. Ransome is the illustrator of many highly acclaimed titles including Creation, which won a Coretta Scott King Award for illustration; Major Taylor by Lesa Cline-Ransome; and Let My People Go by Patricia McKissack, winner of an NAACP Image Award. He lives in New York.


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