A children's book about tight rope artist Philippe Petit's 1974 walk between the towers of the World Trade Center won the Caldecott Medal. The Caldecott, if you remember from when you had trips to the school library (now media center; what gives?), is the award for the best American picture book. Mordicai Gerstein wrote and illustrated, The Man Who Walked Between The Towers, right after September 11, 2001 according to a Times article. More illustrations from The Man Who... It looks lovely, and Gothamist is going to buy it right now; buy from Amazon.


The feat was actually illegal, in keeping with Petit's illegal traversing of Notre Dame and Sydney's Harbor bridge. According to PBS's American Experience page about this, Petit became a folk hero and formal charges were dropped, though he was "sentenced" to perform for children at Central Park. The Port Authority later gave him a lifetime pass to the WTC observation deck, where he signed his name on a beam there. Petit wrote a book, To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers, that came out in 2002. More about the book at the publisher's website or buy it at Amazon (it has tons of photographs).