Gary Ross-penned ''Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind'' to come out in 2013

By Karen Valby
Updated February 25, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

Back when his twin son and daughter were just a year old, writer-director Gary Ross got a frantic call from a friend. David Koepp was shooting his first movie, The Trigger Effect, and needed a bedtime story for Elisabeth Shue to read to her son in a scene. Could Ross come up with something quickly? He dashed out some verses about a boy named Bartholomew Biddle who flies out of his window using his bedsheet as a kite. ”Bartholomew is very courageous,” says Ross. ”He has untainted curiosity and the vehicle to explore it.” Over the years, Ross kept writing, always reading aloud to his kids, until Bartholomew’s story had bloomed into a 30,000-word epic told in verse. Candlewick Press, which recently bought Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind, plans to publish it in 2013, the year before Ross’ children graduate from high school. ”The book has spanned their entire childhood,” he says. ”The end of the book is so poignant to me because the story is about growing up and breaking free.”