The Man Who Walked Between The Towers

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

A. The Man Who Walked Between The Towers

B. Gerstein, Mordicai

C. Gerstein, Mordicai

D. Scholastic Inc., 2004.

E. Caldecott Medal, realistic, biographical picture book

F. 4-6

G. This book is all about a famous trapeze artist that had a passion for walking on high wires between large monuments like the Notre Dame, in Paris France. He one day saw the open space that was inbetween the Twin Towers and just decided that he had to cross that space with his tight rope. The police said that it was not allowed but he wouldn’t listen so he and his friends dressed up as construction workers and started setting up the cable he would cross in the middle of the night. By morning he started walking on it and so many people saw him walking it and police quickly came telling him he was under arrest so he just started going the other way on the cable. He stayed out on it dancing, laying down, running and just fooling around until finally he let the police arrest him. They took him to court and the judge said he could go free if did it in front of alot of kids, and then in the end there is a tribute to the Twin Towers that no longer stand due to the events of 9-11.

H. I thought this was a really neat book because it was artistically written and illustrated so differently than the usual ones I read. It made me feel very hopeful that he would cross the cable successfully but it also made me a little sad because it definitely reminded me of how we don’t have the Twin Towers any more due to those events that occurred on 9-11. That day was so sad and traumatizing to our nation that I think it it would be really difficult to bring up in a classroom. It reminds me of some of my own experiences because it directly brings me back to thinking about 9-11 and what I was doing during that time that I found out the planes hit the towers. I can’t honestly say it connects to any other books I’ve read because the event of 9-11 happened 8 years ago and I haven’t ever had the opportunity to read a tribute to 9-11 or any of those events.

I. I could definitely use this book in my classroom to discuss the 9-11 events, however this would definitely be a new topic for me to discuss in the classroom because I never learned about it in any of my classes because it was happening then, and in some cases it hadn’t happened yet. I could break the kids up into research groups and have them research individual events that occurred on 9-11 dealing with the twin towers, the pentagon, and the plane crash in the field and how they are all interconnected. However this would be very risky in  having them study this because those events could be very controvercial in covering in class just because they have so much to do with politics and people’s individual views.

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One Response to “The Man Who Walked Between The Towers”

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Thanks for sharing Rachel. You should go back and include Philipe’s name as the famous trapeze artist. Also, I would love for you to expand on the illustrations…this is a Caldecott 🙂 There is a beautiful 4 page spread-horizontal and vertical that you should comment on. I appreciate your comments about 9/11. Thank you.


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