Book of the Week: The Man Who Walked Between The Towers

September 7, 2010

The Man Who Walked Between The Towers, by Mordicai Gerstein, is another Caldecott winner my kids love. It was a gift they received this summer  and it quickly captured everyone’s attention at our house. The story is so amazing it’s hard to believe, but it’s based on a true event. It chronicles Philippe Petit’s tight rope walk between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. I get butterflies in my stomach every time I read it because I’m so worried for Philippe. : )

September 11th is coming this Saturday — this is a good book to use if you wanted to talk to your kids about the towers falling and what an impact their absence has had on New York and the entire country.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Owen's mom September 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

This is such interesting timing – I’m just now reading “Let the Great World Spin”, which won the 2009 National Book Award. It, too, is about a tightrope walker in NYC. I’ll be sure to check out this kids version – sounds (and looks) fantastic!


2 sarah September 7, 2010 at 11:44 am

I love this book! My 2 year old asks to read it all of the time. I also watched a really interesting documentary on Pierre and his walk acoss the tower on Netflix!


3 jessie September 7, 2010 at 11:44 am

Man on Wire, a documentary about this very event, is very interesting and well made. You might check it out. (I might remember some post tightrope walking partying that you might not want your kids to see, so I’d preview it first.) Still really interesting and well made.


4 Anne September 7, 2010 at 11:55 am

We LOVE this book – the story, the art, everything.


5 Katherine September 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm

My four year old enjoys reading this book. The only difficult part, the explanation that goes along with it every time we read it. Man on a Wire was pretty fascinating too.


6 kimba September 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm

we loooooved the documentary. really interesting, and even though i knew how it ended i was on pins and needles. there is a post party you’ll need to fast forward, but other than that it’s great. i just saw this book at borders and mean to get it.


7 Eva September 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I second (or fifth) the documentary too! Wouldn’t watch it with my kids necessarily, but would be great as a stay-at-home date night movie with your husby.


8 bridget September 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm

i saw this movie! so cool.


9 liz stanley September 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Oh! I just saw this documentary on netflix. It’s super interesting. Book looks great!


10 Ayme September 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm

One more vote for the doc. I picked this book up a couple years ago at the library and loved it. Great illustrations.


11 Jan @ Family Bites September 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I came across this book last spring while on a trip to NYC. I thought it was a perfect souvenir to bring home for my little guy…so I did. It’s a fabulous book!


12 jessica September 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Loved watching the movie with my kids but there is a crazy riske’ scene right out of nowhere at the end. Watch out!


13 Sarah Buttenwieser September 7, 2010 at 8:13 pm

A great book (& he’s my neighbor).


14 katie September 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm

The story of Philippe Petit’s is a favorite in our family. In fact, we read the Big Kids version while I was in labor with my second child. It is so inspiring to see how he was able to make his dreams come true. All it takes is some planning and a willingness to step into the unknown.


15 Carrie Pacini September 8, 2010 at 7:51 am

My son Adrian (9) picked this book for a report last year. Adrian was truly inspired by it. He worked really hard on creating the towers with a tightrope in between. It was one of his favorite projects / books and we still have the display in his room.


16 Ann September 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

Me and my boys really love this book.


17 Pamela September 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I cried reading about this book, I suppose because I’ve just moved the family away from NYC, where I was living on 9/11. Our eldest is 5 and we haven’t explained the whole tragedy to him yet. Maybe this book would be a good way to do it. Thanks.


18 christina September 11, 2010 at 8:38 pm

i also read the grown-up novel “let the great world spin”by colum mccann and it was wonderfully written. based on the context of phillippe petit’s walk, but the story followed several fictional characters in the city who witnessed the walk. a great read! i’ll be sure to check out the childrens’ book too. :)


19 Anneliese February 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm

We brought this book home from the library last week and I found it so touching! I loved everhythign about it. Interesting to read it with my daughter who knows nothing of the towers… I had remembered it from yoru blog. I think I need a copy on our own bookshelf!


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