The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
Author: Mordicai Gerstein
Illustrator: Mordicai Gerstein
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Awards: Caldecott Medal (2004), ALA Notable Children's Book (2004), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Picture Book (2004)
Topics: Philippe Petit, Tightrope Walking, Aerialists, World Trade Center, Philippe Petit, New York, biography
Summary: This is the story of Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between the World Trade Center Towers.
- The Man Who Walked Between the Towers from Wikipedia
Philippe Petit and his Walk
- Daredevil in the Clouds
The original story about Philippe Petit.
- Philippe Petit from Wikipedia
Read about the person who walked between the tower. How are you like and unlike this person.
- Photos of Philippi Petit signature
See photos of the location of the walk and the signature of Petit
- Touching the void: The second part of Philippe Petit's story
The story of Petit's twin tower walk.
- WCBS 880 40th Anniversary 1974 - Philippe Petit Walks a Tightrope Between the Two Towers
Listen to the broadcast
- When I see two towers I walk
Read about Philippe Petit's walk across towers in 1974.
World Trade Center
- Information on World Trade Center
This site includes the vital statistics of the building. Includes a graph comparing tall buildings of the world, and a great list of facts.
- World Trade Center Architect with Photos
Check out buildings including the World Trade Center.
- World Trade Center
Examine brief statistics and facts about skyscrapers particularly the World Trade Center.
- Facts about Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Learn about Notre Dame Cathedral.
- An Acre of Land. Each tower had roughly an acre of rentable space on each floor.
1. Find out the dimensions of acre of land.
2. Measure out an acre of land. Is your school property more or less than an acre?
- Architecture. Explore other books with buildings as a theme. Go to Carol Hurst's building page for ideas.
- Walk the Line. Try walking on a line without falling. (A line on a football or baseball field would be a good place to try this)
- Daring Deeds. Read about Philippe Petit. Then, share your own daring deeds in a short story. Discuss the consequences of daring deeds that are not legal.
- Petit the Person. What kind of person was Philippe Petit? Watch the interview with Philippe Petit (Quicktime Video). Make a list of questions you would like to ask this aerialist.
- The View from Above. Write a short story about what you might see below you if you were tight-rope walking between two towers. Draw a picture.
- Daredevils. Learn about another daredevi (i.e., rock climbing, movie stunt people, motorcycle jumping). Compare the feats of this person with Petit.
- Perspectives. Create a perspective drawing. If you need to learn more about perspective drawing techniques, go to websites like drawing in a One-Point Perspective and Perspective Drawing. Then start by drawing a building, street scene, or object in perspective.
- Distances. How much longer distance was the walk between the Trade Center Towers than the walk between the steeples of Notre Dame Cathedral? What would you like to see an aerialist try? Find out the distance and height.
- Illustrations. Compare the illustrations in the book to photographs of the actual event. How are they alike and different? Use the photos at Wikipedia: Philippe Petit.
- Man Who Walked Between the Towers Lesson Ideas from Carol Hurst
Summary and lesson ideas
- World Trade Center WebQuest
This list of questions might get you started creating your own activity.