COMING 2019: King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara (illustrated by Adam Gustavson)

(Peachtree, 2019)

Donna Janell Bowman: KING OF THE TIGHTROPE: WHEN THE GREAT BLONDIN RULED NIAGARA (Picture book biography (Ages 7-12, Peachtree, Fall 2019)

Coming October 1, 2019. Peachtree Publishers.  illustrated by Adam Gustavson.)
et your advance reader copy at TLA 2019. Stay tuned for schedule


Jean Francois Gravelet was a French tightrope-walking prodigy who was famous even as a child. But fame was never enough to satisfy his artistic yearning to do more, accomplish more, be more. It took a fateful trip to Niagara Falls in the 1850s to spark his most creative idea: he would perform on a tightrope over the Niagara River. But how could he engineer a three-inch-diameter rope across the 1100’-wide river, keep it from snapping, and keep himself from plunging into the deathly current? How could The Great Blondin conquer the mighty Niagara?

Practical inquiry, the engineering process, and artistic determination would help Blondin reach his goal. He employed the standard engineering process, requiring him to define his problem, research his options, develop a solution, and test his ideas.

King of the Tightrope is packed with engineering concepts, cause-and-effect logic, basic physics and math concepts, and references to the research challenges of deconstructing history. Hands-on classroom activities and curriculum guides will be available.