The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers

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Caldecott Medal First Edition Identification

The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers, written & illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein; Roaring Brook Press, 2003

2004 Caldecott Medal Winner

Children’s Picturebook Price Guide Value:  $70 Fine

The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers

In 1974 Philippe Petit walked across a high wire between the two World Trade Center towers, nearly 1/4 mile off the ground. In 2003 Mordicai Gerstein recounts the event in his book The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers. The book would win the 2004 Caldecott Medal awarded by the American Library Association to the most distinguished American picturebook of that year.  The last page of the book has an imagined view of the twin World Trade Center Towers with:

But in memory, as if imprinted on the sky, the towers are still there. And part of that memory is the joyful morning, August 7, 1974, when Philippe Petit walked between them in the air.

Robert Zemeckis’ new motion picture, The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit, provides a thrilling dramatization of the preparation and daring to stage the event. Part of the plan was shooting a the steel wire with a bow from one tower to the other.

New Yorkers were stunned that day looking up a Petit high above the ground, making the crossing.

Essential identifying point

Copyright page:  Must have two complete number lines, as follows

 ISBN    0-7613-1791-0 (trade edition)
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
ISBN    0-7613-2868-8 (library binding)
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Book design by Filomena Tuosto
Printed in the United States of America
First Edition

A Fun Fact

Page 13:  After he was awarded the Caldecott Medal, Petit wrote Gerstein a detailed letter praising the book, with one teeny, tiny, correction, being the size of the cable. In first an early printings the cable was “five-eighths” inch thick; in later printings, “five-eighths” was changed to “seven-eighths” in the following line

“To his end of the stronger line, Philippe tied the cable on which he would walk. It was five-eighths of an inch thick.”

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