Product Details
List Price:
8 to 11
3 to 6
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Calkins Creek
ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-938-4
Full-color illustrations
Lexile Level:

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About the Book


Homan Walsh loves to fly his kite. And when a contest is announced to see whose kite string can span Niagara Falls, Homan is set on winning, despite the cold and the wind—and even when his kite is lost and broken. Homan’s determination is beautifully captured in this soaring, poetic picture book that features Terry Widener’s stunning acrylic paintings. Both author and illustrator worked with experts on both sides of the falls to accurately present Homan Walsh’s story. The book also includes an extensive author’s note, timeline, bibliography, and further resources.


". . . O'Neill's spare text communicates both grandeur and dignity and manages to cover a good amount of territory. . . Widener's full-page acrylic paintings closely follow the narrative, emphasizing the harsh winter landscape and giving a clear sense of he odds against spanning the gorge. An extensive author's note spells out what is known and not known abou the story and supplies additional facts abou the building of the bridge." --Booklist

". . . Widener's acrylic paintings capture the determination of the boy, the frozen, deeply chilly landscape, and the danger and power of the falls . . . Memorable and dramatic." --Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Alexis O'Neill

Alexis O’Neill’s love of New York history began when she taught elementary school in Oneida and grew when she served as an education consultant for several museums in Syracuse. The author of award-winning picture books, including The Recess Queen and Loud Emily, Alexis holds a PhD in teacher education from Syracuse University and is an instructor for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She lives in southern California with her husband and can be reached at

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Meet the Illustrator

Terry Widener

Terry Widener is the award-winning illustrator of many picture books on athletes, including The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America's Hero, Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings, American Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle,and Lou Gehrig, The Luckiest Man. He is also the illustrator of The Kite That Bridged Two Nations by Alexis O'Neill. He lives in McKinney, Texas, with his wife and is the father of three grown children. Visit him at

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Other Books by Terry Widener