Crossing Niagara: The Death Defying Tightrope Adventures of the Great Blondin
Written and Illustrated by Matt Tavares
2016 Junior Library Guild Selection
2017 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
2017 CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center) Choices
2016 ABC (American Booksellers for Children) Best Books for Young Readers
2017 Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year
2018 Illinois Bluestem Readers' Choice Award, Master List
Now available, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or an independent bookstore near you.
When the Great Blondin announced that he was going to walk from America to Canada across the Niagara River on a rope more than eleven hundred feet long and just three inches wide, hanging one hundred and sixty feet above the raging waters, people came from everywhere. Some came to watch him cross. Some came to watch him fall. Some thought he wouldn't show up at all.
But he did show up. And he did walk across the river. And then he did something amazing- he did it again! And again. And again.
Matt Tavares's gorgeous, riveting account of one of the daredevils of Niagara Falls is sure to be as enthralling to readers as the original feat must have been to those spectators on the cliffs more than one hundred and fifty years ago.
"Tavares's sweeping panoramas and direct storytelling easily transport audiences back to those suspense-filled summer days more than 150 years ago."
"Inviting watercolor, pencil and gouache illustrations, which convey here the majesty of the waterfall and Blondin's achievement, as well as the intensity of the hundreds of people who gathered to watch. Their alternately terrified and excited faces add depth to the story and draw the eye."
-School Library Journal
"The extra-large format and several full-page illustrations help young readers grasp the enormity of the Falls, especially when Blondin appears as a tiny figure over the great expanse. Dramatically illustrated scenes also allow readers to understand the difficulty of the task, including the careful preparations, en route maneuvers, and evident relief upon returning to solid ground. This would be an inspirational read-aloud for a unit on dreamers and adventurers- those daunting individuals who somehow make the impossible possible.
"Tavares' color palette captures the stunning falls, river, and forested slopes in gray-white mist, pastel blues, and soft greens... A compressed, respectful glimpse at the achievements of a fascinating 19th-century daredevil."