King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara

Peachtree. Oct. 2019. 48p. photos. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781561459377.
Gr 3-6–Jean-François Gravelet, also known as the Great Blondin, was a famous 19th-century French tightrope walker who toured the world performing dangerous feats. Relying on the financial assistance of his supporters and his own ingenuity, the Great Blondin achieved his dream of crossing a tightrope across Niagara Falls. Using sentences of varying lengths and occasional repetition and sprinkling in French words, Bowman makes this longer text accessible to a wide range of readers. Gustavson’s gouache and watercolor images transport readers into Blondin’s world. The final three pages include photographs and several facts about Blondin’s life and his most famous feats.
VERDICT This well-researched, riveting biography will inspire readers.

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