The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

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The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
Author Mordicai Gerstein
Illustrator Mordicai Gerstein
Country United States
Genre Children's picture book
Publisher Roaring Brook Press and Millbrook Press
Publication date
ISBN 0-7613-1791-0
OCLC 52215062
791.3/4/092 B 21
LC Class GV551 .G47 2003

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a children's picture book written and illustrated by American Mordicai Gerstein. Published in 2003, the book recounts the heart-stopping achievement of Philippe Petit, a French man who, on an August morning in 1974, walked, lay, knelt and danced on a tightrope wire between the roofs of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, a quarter mile above the ground. Gerstein won the 2004 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations.[1]

The book was adapted as an animated short film of the same name in 2005 by Michael Sporn for Weston Woods Studios.[2] It was narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal. The film received the Audience Choice Award for best short film at the 2005 Heartland Film Festival,[3] and the award for Best Short Animation Made for Children at the 2006 Ottawa International Animation Festival. It is included as an extra on the DVD of the Oscar-winning British documentary Man on Wire (2008) directed by James Marsh about this exploit.

The book was also adapted as a two-act ballet of the same name at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. It was conceived, choreographed and directed by Paule Turner, premiering in December 2008 to exceptionally good reviews.[4] Dancing was the primary medium, and the production also used puppetry, especially during the wirewalking sequence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ American Library Association: "2004, Mordicai Gerstein", Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 - Present], American Library Association, URL accessed 27 May 2009.
  2. ^ "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers". Retrieved 2006-09-18. 
  3. ^ "Heartland Film Festival Concludes Another Record Breaking Year". 2005. Retrieved 2006-09-18. 
  4. ^ "'Towers' an all-around dance department hit". The Whit Online. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 2006-09-18. 
Preceded by
My Friend Rabbit
Caldecott Medal recipient
Succeeded by
Kitten's First Full Moon