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The Kite that Bridged Two Nations: Homan Walsh and the First Niagara Suspension Bridge
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The Kite that Bridged Two Nations: Homan Walsh and the First Niagara Suspension Bridge

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  25 reviews
This soaring and poetic picture book is based on the true story of Homan J. Walsh, an ordinary boy born in Ireland and raised in Niagara Falls, NY. In 1848, Homan entered a kite-flying contest. The winner's kite string would span Niagara Falls and bridge the United States and Canada. Despite biting cold and strong winds and against tremendous odds, Homan Walsh won the cont ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Calkins Creek
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Lois
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully wirtten and illustrated historical fiction book. It would be an effective piece to use with non-fiction in a CCSS lesson.
Sue
Fascinating history of suspension bridge from boy's point of view - that crosses Niagara - great to introduce kites, wind, etc. Tie in common core
Diane Kress Hower
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I pulled this book off the library shelf and did not know what to expect. I thought this was an amazing telling of a story that could have been left untold but the fact that Alexis chose to do such detailed research and found a voice for the mc that was woven into a very sensory detailed experience through the authors voice just made me think WOW. Growing up on the Great Lakes and crossing the Peace Bridge from the US to Canada for a summer vacation was my personal experience that made this more ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I couldn't resist this bit of local-ish history. I had never heard of this fellow or the kite-flying contest until I read this book. Homan Walsh, an ordinary teenager, manages to fly his kite across the Niagara River from Canada to America, thereby winning the contest and helping to establish the first suspension bridge there. The story is told from his point of view, with additional information at the back of the book to fill in the gaps. Apparently it was a mighty, mighty cold winter that year ...more
Alice
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
This is a 3 3/4 star for me but I gave it a four because I like the story and the writing. The pictures are great, the story is unique and interesting.

I also like the authors notes at the back. This a perfect non-fiction picture book, suitable for older elementary school kids!
Brenda Kahn
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
An inspiring story of perseverance based on an interesting historical event. The story has is compelling, written from the POV of a young boy. The art is atmospheric and intriguing. There are several CSSS possibilities for use of this historical fiction in the classroom.
Paula
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting historical fiction (I initially thought it was narrative nonfiction, but was wrong) for students in intermediate grades. I enjoyed the illustrations, author's note, and additional resources at the end of the book.
Edward Sullivan
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great story, wonderfully illustrated.
Paul Farbman
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: First to third grade
Shelves: my-choice
I enjoyed the thrilling language and use of personification. This is a very well-told story with beautiful watercolor illustrations..
Tracie
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Based on a true story of a kite flying competition at Niagara Falls in 1847. Excellent narrative.
Lisa Bricker
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-nonfiction
Wow. It's always great to read about kids affecting historical circumstances, usually in completely overlooked ways. And this one has Niagara Falls AND kites. It's a winner.
Cathy
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cathy by: California Young Reader 2017 - Picture book for Older Readers
This soaring and poetic picture book is based on the true story of Homan J. Walsh, an ordinary boy born in Ireland and raised in Niagara Falls, NY. In 1848, Homan entered a kite-flying contest. The winner's kite string would span Niagara Falls and bridge the United States and Canada. Despite biting cold and strong winds and against tremendous odds, Homan Walsh won the contest, earning him a place in history. His success also lead to the building of the first suspension bridge across the Falls, l ...more
Rene
Homan Walsh was fifteen years old on the day of the kite contest in 1848 sponsored by the engineers planning the first suspension bridge across Niagara Falls from the U.S. side to the Canadian side. Builders needed to find a way to string a line, and then a cable, to eventually break ground on the first suspension bridge across the falls to bridge the two nations. Homan braves the freezing January temperatures, and after failed attempts, a frozen river that left him stranded in Canada for 8 days ...more
Arianna
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the way the author jumped in and assumed the story in first person narrative, it was a lot more interesting this way. I also like the facts that were given at the end of the book. It was over all well written
Kristine Hansen
I hadn't heard the story before, of how the first bridge at Niagara Falls was created. Here we find out about a kite flying contest with the goal of landing a rope from one country to the next - the first line for a suspension bridge. What surprised me was the time period - the 1840's. I hadn't realized that suspension bridges were being built in the mid 1800s so I learned something new. I liked the story, I liked the detail (even if some of them are made up). Overall you have a story that's int ...more
Ann
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
O’Neill brings a little-known historical incident to life in this beautifully-illustrated picture book. 15-year-old Homan Walsh plays an important role in the development of a suspension bridge between the United States and Canada. O’Neill’s vivid language bring a kite-flying contest alive, and young readers will not soon forget the determination of Homan Walsh. Excellent back matter materials make this a nonfiction treasure with numerous student and teacher uses.
Fernando Villegas
In the Book The kite that bridged two nation is about skilled young named Homan Walsh was determination to lead a bridge over the Niagara river.


I liked this book because it was short and some what interesting it explained how this man did that .


I would recommend this book if you like short and interesting books i think you might like this book.
Clarissa Najera
Homan Walsh is a kite flyer who loved to fly his kite everywhere.He especially loved flying it over the Niagara falls.But his father never approved, he thought his studies were more important. I liked this book but it was written in a poetic type of way. Its a pretty nice book to read.
Angie
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Kite that Bridged Two Nations tells the story of how Homan Walsh won a contest to fly a kite over Niagara Falls. It was the dead of winter so this was no easy task. This is a highly readable historical picture book. The story is exciting and interesting and the illustrations beautiful.
Amy-Lynn
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
An intriguing, historical tale about how a boy was able to fly his kite between the American and Canadian sides of Niagra Falls, in order to begin building the suspension bridge. Contains an author's note and a listing of Selected Sources.
Sue
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cyrm
CYRM Nominee for Picture book for older readers
There is a contest to fly a kite across the Niagara Falls in order to start a cable for a suspension bridge.
Sharon
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book aloud to a group, and we all enjoyed the story. We agreed that flying a kite in January wasn't a very appealing idea!
Caroline
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all ages
Great historical notes with this picture biography.
Nikki
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nikki by: Quizmo
Amazing little bit of history here!
Ray Pedersen
rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2017
Michelle Gray
rated it liked it
Nov 06, 2013
Stephanie
rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2014
Yapha
rated it really liked it
Mar 07, 2016
Cathel De
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Mar 24, 2016
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Alexis O'Neill grew up in Boston and Wakefield, Massachusetts. She earned a Ph.D. in Teacher Education from Syracuse University. She teaches writing for the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and was a Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) in the Central-Coastal region of California.
She has also been educator and consultant for a number of musea: Erie
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