The World's Fair in Chicago, 1893, was to be a spectacular event: architects, musicians, artists, and inventors worked on special exhibits to display the glories of their countries. But the Fair's planners wanted something really special, something on the scale of the Eiffel Tower, which had been constructed for France's fair three years earlier. At last, engineer George Ferris had an ideaa crazy, unrealistic, gigantic idea. He would construct a twenty-six-story tall observation wheel.
The planners didn't think it could be done. They called it a "monstrosity." It wouldn't be safe. But George fought for his design. Finally, in December 1892, with only four months to go until the fair, George was given permission to build his wheel. He had to fight the tight schedule, bad weather, and general disapproval. Against all odds, the Ferris Wheel turned out to be the talk of the Fair, and proof that dreaming big dreams could pay off. Today, George's Ferris Wheel is an icon of adventure and amusement throughout the world.
About the Author
Betsy Harvey Kraft is the author of several nonfiction children's books, including Theodore Roosevelt: Champion of the American Spirit, which was an ALA Notable Book, a National Council of Social Studies Notable Book, and an NYPL Top 100 Title for Reading and Sharing. She lives in Washington, DC.
Steven Salerno has illustrated more than twenty picture books, including Brothers At Bat, which made the NY Times Book Review's list of notable picture books for 2012, BOOM!, and Coco the Carrot. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, he lives in New York City.