The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Hardcover) by Mordicai Gerstein. Roaring Brook, 2003. ISBN: 0761317910. pp: 40.
Ages: 5-9, gr: k-5
Also available as a book&CD package or book&cassette package


Philippe Petit is a young French aerialist who walked, danced, and performed tricks on a tightrope for over an hour between the two towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. He was arrested and was sentenced to perform in a park for the children of the city. The book has full-page foldouts.


  1. Research: Who designed the World Trade Center? How long did it take to complete? How tall were the towers?

  2. Research and discuss: Who is the most famous tightrope walker in the world? How do tightrope walkers train?

  3. Write a poem about Philippe Petit. Try to find out what happened to him. How do you think he felt on 9/11?

  4. This book is not only a memory of Philippe Petit, it is also a pleasant memory of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Research other memories of the World Trade Center prior to 9/11

  5. Read another Caldecott Medal book about tightrope walking (1993 winner).
    McCully, E. (1992). Mirette on the high wire. Putnam Juvenile. grades kindergarten-4.

    And two books that follow the story of Mireet:

    • McCully, E. (1997). Starring Mirette & Bellini. Putnam Juvenile. grades kindergarten-3.

    • McCully, E. (2000). Mirette and Bellini cross Niagara Falls. Putnam Juvenile. grades 1-4.



Man Who Walked Between the Towers
Accelerated Reader: Quiz #77196 EN; Book Level 3.7; Points= 0.5
Reading Counts: Reading Level 2.5; Points= 1.0
Lexile Level 480
Guided Reading Level L