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Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building

by Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by James E. Ransome

Published by Schwartz & Wade Books / Random House, 2006
40 pages
ISBN: 9780375936104

Ages 5-9

Working high above the ground, sky boys “crawl like spiders on steel, spinning their giant web in the sky.” Part of the construction team that built the Empire State Building in 1931, sky boys worked with riveters, bricklayers, masons, electricians, plumbers, water boys, and others to create the world’s tallest building of that time. Told from the perspective of a boy watching the construction in progress, details of the laborers’ work is paired with oil paint illustrations of varying perspectives that offer a dizzying sense of the structure’s immense height. Photographs by Lewis Hines on the endpapers provide additional images of the building and those who made it in a story that also presents the rising structure as a symbol of hope in the midst of the Depression.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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