Product Details
List Price:
5 to 10
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Boyds Mills Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-255-2
Full-color illustrations

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About the Book


The incredible artwork of an Italian immigrant who followed his dream of monumental proportions in the impoverished Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles is revealed in this fascinating and engaging true story. Simon (Sam) Rodia had no formal engineering or architectural training.  Yet, over the course of three decades, he constructed an artistic masterpiece in his own backyard – the Watts Towers. Using all kinds of things other people had thrown away, such as broken bottles and tiles, pieces of mirror and glass, seashells, and bits of pottery, he adorned the collection of 17 interconnected sculptural towers. His imaginative salvaging and perseverance can be seen today, as people from all over the world still come to marvel at Sam’s dream.


"Will intrigue readers, and the artwork has a charm all its own." --Booklist

"The fascination of collecting and creating, of turning garbage into something splendid, shines through the book. . . . As well as being a story of individual human achievement, this could serve as an inspiration for some classroom art projects." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The book can stand on its own, but could also spark an interesting discussion on art and its role in our society." --School Library Journal

Meet the Illustrator

Frané Lessac

Ms. Lessac has illustrated and written many books. Her own My Little Island was a Reading Rainbow Featured Selection. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries throughout the world.

She lives in Fremantle, Australia, with her husband, their two children, a cat, and some fish.

More About This Illustrator