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DONNA JANELL BOWMAN - King of the Tightrope

Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 2:00pm
King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara Cover Image
ISBN: 9781561459377
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Peachtree Publishing Company - October 1st, 2019



Sunday, October 13 at 2 PM

speaking & signing
King of the Tightrope



In 1859, Jean-Francois Gravelet, known as The Great Blondin, walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. What kind of man would do something like that? And more importantly, how do you become that man?
At the age of four, Jean-Francois Gravelet walked across his first balance beam. Later, he took to the tightrope like a spider to its web, and with his family troupe, he climbed toward stardom. As The Great Blondin, his feats became more and more marvelous, but he was bored. That is, until he visited Niagara Falls and imagined doing something that no one else had ever accomplished. It would take courage to cross the falls, but Blondin first had to figure out how to get a rope across the rushing water, what kind of rope and knots to use, and how to handle the huge sag in the middle of the walking rope. In 1859, with all of the work completed, Blondin would step out onto the most dangerous tightrope walk he'd ever faced.
Author Donna Janell Bowman's trademark in-depth research gives readers a clear and exciting look into the accomplishments of The Great Blondin, as well as the hard work, determination, and meticulous mathematic and scientific planning it took to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Adam Gustavson's detailed illustrations turn this book into an experience that will inspire readers of all ages.


Donna Janell Bowman is the author of the picture book biography Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness, a Junior Library Guild Selection, which earned three starred reviews; was awarded the Carter G. Woodson Award Honor from NCSS; was named an NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended book; an ALA Notable Book; and earned a Writer’s League of Texas Book Award. It is currently on many states’ 2018-19 book award nomination lists, including the TX Bluebonnet master list. On April 1, 2018, her next picture book biography, Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling words—also a Junior Library Guild Selection— releases from Peachtree Publishers, followed by King of the Tightrope: The Great Blondin in 2019. Donna has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and enjoys teaching and mentoring writers of all ages. She lives near Austin, Texas and is represented by Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

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