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Parents' Guide to

Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Inspiring tale of landmark's construction.

Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 1 parent review

age 5+

Fine for New Yorkers

This is a well developed book. But its primary appeal will be to New Yorkers who want to understand how the Empire State Building was constructed. It may also fit into a historical unit about the time period. The illustrations are fine. Even up to fifth graders may find this book good because of its informative pictures and text. I just wish there were more books about people who live outside New York City.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a fascinating, nonfiction book about the building of the Empire State Building, framed by a fictional story about a boy watching the process. His part, giving a few details of the Depression and including an out-of-work father, is told in an odd, second-person style that's distracting, but the framing device provides context and draws younger readers in.

Author Deborah Hopkinson tells the nonfiction part in clear prose that doesn't get in the way of the dramatic story, and gives plenty of facts without being overwhelming. But it's James Ransome's glowing oil paintings that make this slim volume soar. Pictures, large and small, from a variety of perspectives, culminate in a gorgeous two-page spread of the finished building at sunrise that gives a sense of the awe and majesty of the building, and the pride New Yorkers felt at their achievement in the depths of the Depression.

Book Details

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