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The Strongest Man in the World

Written by Nicolas Debon

  • 36 Pages
  • 9780888997319
  • 10.630" x 8.500"
  • Reading age to 7
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Historical
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Sports & Recreation
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Biography


Publication Date April 01, 2007

Strongman and circus owner Louis Cyr captured the world's imagination with his remarkable feats of strength and his mammoth proportions. Set in Quebec at the turn of the 20th century, this biography, in graphic-novel style, features the celebrity in his old age as he recalls the glory days for his young daughter. In vivid detail he recounts his adventures traveling through Europe, performing feats of strength that astounded audiences and remain unsurpassed today.

Nicolas Debon's vibrant illustrations and moving text bring the world of long-ago circuses and celebrities to life for young readers.

Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award - Non-Fiction 2007

Long-listed for the Great Lakes Great Books Award 2008

Selected for the Quill & Quire Books of the Year 2007 List 2007

Selected for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbons 2007

Selected for the USBBY Outstanding International Books 2008


Nicolas Debon
Nicolas Debon was born in Northern France and later moved to Nancy where he studied art at l'Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts before moving to Toronto for ten years. His picture book The Strongest Man in the World won the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award. Nicolas currently lives in France.


Star Review

"Debon uses the book's graphic novel-style format to communicate immediacy and intimacy; we feel as if we really know the man...The book's success is due partly to Debon's skill as an artist and partly to the passion he clearly feels for his subject and imparts to his audience." Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW

Star Review

"The folk-style illustration panels, often complemented by full-page paintings, move the story forward and place it firmly in its historical period....popular..." School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"...charming..." Globe and Mail

"...Debon deftly captures the life of a Canadian luminary...His stunning dialogue makes you feel as if you're sitting in the circus audience." Canadian Children's Book Centre

" cleverly portrayed as if chiseled from a boulder, and the restrained earth and blue-gray shades evoke an aura of melancholy memory." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"...enough information is given to entice young readers to learn more about this little known Canadian...this will be a welcome addition to library shelves." CM Magazine

"...will appeal to reluctant readers." Sacramento Bee

"A thoroughly absorbing tale about a turn-of-the-20th-century celebrity." Publishers Weekly

"Debon has performed a service in bringing to our attention a little-known Quebec figure." Quill & Quire

"Debon proves that it's never too early to fine-tune a child's sense of nostalgia..." Booklist

"Debon uses strip-cartooning techniques to move the story forward quickly, but his soft-edged, earth-toned, watercolour illustrations also give modern children a strong sense of a world far outside their experience." City Parent (Toronto)

"This unique graphic novel style picture book with its earth tone artwork beautifully tells the story of Louis Cyr in such a way that it is as if we are hearing the story from Louis Cyr's own lips...We are lucky enough to be taken along for the ride." Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review

"...a masterpiece that is certain to entertain readers of all ages. The illustrations are both entertaining and excellent read for the struggling reader who is intimidated with books that contain a lot of text." Resource Links

"The story of his life is well suited to the graphic novel style employed here...text and images provide wonderful detail to convey Cyr's impressive strength and vitality...The drawings have a great old-time feel to them, recreating a time of small towns, traveling circuses, and astonishing feats." Montreal Review of Books