Where is the Brooklyn Bridge?

Stine, Megan. Where is the Brooklyn Bridge? illustrated by John Hinderliter. New York: Penguin Workshop, 2016.

Brooklyn Bridge

Part of the Where Is…? series of books from Penguin Workshop, Where is the Brooklyn Bridge? tells the story of the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge and the creator John Roebling and his son Washington Roebling who carried on the work after his father’s death. The idea for the bridge started when John Roebling had to spend time traveling on the ferry in order to get back and forth to New York City. He shared his vision with his son Washington Roebling, which is a good thing as he died before the bridge was ever begun.

The sketches of John Hinderliter complement the text and help students visualize what is being described.

Megan Stine wrote the text in an engaging and interesting way. Many details of the bridge building and the lives of the engineers behind the project are shared in the text. The book is filled with facts which mid-elementary students love. Unfortunately, some of the “facts” in the section on Other Suspension Bridges don’t seem to be accurately presented. The section includes the “fact” that the Verranzano-Narrows Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the United States.  A more accurate statement might be that the longest span on a suspension bridge is found on the Verranzano-Narrows Bridge. That bridge is actually 13,700 feet in length with the largest span being the 4,260 feet reported in the book as the length of the bridge. When you consider the full length of the bridge, there are actually suspension bridges in the United States longer than the Verranzano-Narrows. In spite of this inaccurate presentation, I do recommend the Where Is…? series for your library. I would just encourage your students to do additional research.


Some facts about the Brooklyn Bridge.

Did you know…

….workers who excavated the river bed were paid $2 a day and considered it good pay?

….when workers came up from working underwater they could develop “caisson disease” which was much like the “bends” deep sea divers suffer?

…Emily Roebling, wife of Washington, did a lot of the supervision of the building of the bridge while Washington was ill?

…President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland, who would go on to become president, presided over the dedication of the Brooklyn Bridge?

Check out these web sites for more information about the Brooklyn Bridge:

The History Channel

New York City Department of Transportation

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Free Tours by Foot – Brooklyn Bridge

USA Today – 50 pictures

For links to the other books on this Penguin Workshop blog tour, see my earlier blog post.

Penguin has a web site for the series which includes lesson plans and activities for educators.

I want to thank Penguin Random House for the review copy of Where is the Brooklyn Bridge? which I received in exchange for this review. The book will now be placed in my school’s library for all students to enjoy.

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