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Groundwood Books

How Emily Saved the Bridge

The Story of Emily Warren Roebling and the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

Written by Frieda Wishinsky • Illustrated by Natalie Nelson

For kids 7 - 10 years old | Published May 01, 2019 | ISBN 9781773061047

Cover of How Emily Saved the Bridge

Regular price $19.95 CAD

32 pages | 10.75 in × 8.875 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

How Emily Saved the Bridge

The Story of Emily Warren Roebling and the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

Frieda Wishinsky • Natalie Nelson

The amazing story of Emily Warren Roebling, the woman who stepped in to oversee the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which was completed in 1883.

Emily was not an engineer, but she was educated in math and science. She married Washington Roebling, the chief engineer of the famous bridge. When Washington became ill from decompression sickness, Emily stepped in, doing everything from keeping the books, to carrying messages for her husband, to monitoring the construction of the bridge. She was the first person to cross the Brooklyn Bridge when it opened.

Emily, who went on to study law among many other accomplishments, is an inspiration to all, as demonstrated through Frieda Wishinsky’s informative and engaging text and Natalie Nelson’s distinctive collage illustrations. Speech bubbles revealing imagined dialogue add a playful note to this historical account, which includes fascinating facts about the Brooklyn Bridge and a further reading list.

Key Text Features
further reading
speech bubbles

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

About the Author

Frieda Wishinsky

Frieda Wishinsky is an award-winning author and teacher. She lives with her family in Toronto. Visit Frieda Wishinsky's website:

Natalie Nelson

Awards and Praise

Praise for How Emily Saved the Bridge:

“Wishinsky’s quippy dialogue and well-researched storytelling capture the passion and intelligence of the extraordinary Emily. … Nelson’s whimsical cut-paper collages, an interplay of bright blocks of color and black-and-white photography, capture a rapidly growing city in the flux of modernization. … Another win for the ladies of STEM.” — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“A strong and honest homage to a remarkable woman.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The playful illustrations by Nelson help make the long-ago 1880s feel candy-colored vivid. And the use of dialog in speech balloons lightens the story, making it fun and accessible. Wishinsky hits all the right historical notes with careful accuracy while still molding the story to have direction and focus.” — New York Journal of Books

Praise for Avis Dolphin by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Willow Dawson:

“Moving and inventive … a vivid and relatable account of a not-so-distant tragedy.” Quill & Quire

“This child’s view of the event with eye-catching illustrations is an accessible take on the historic event.” Booklist

Praise for Please, Louise! by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay:

“… Wishinsky presents a common family problem with humorous, understated dialogue. … Warm-hearted and funny, this is a very fine picture book, with a great match between illustration and text.” Quill & Quire, starred review

Praise for A Storytelling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Natalie Nelson:

“Offbeat nonsense humor of the highest order: not to be missed.” Kirkus, starred review

“In this charming tribute to the quirkiness of collective nouns, playful artwork and clever captions invite children of all ages to contemplate a variety of amusing scenarios illustrated in bright colors and bold patterns.” Foreword, starred review

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