Eleven

27 Jan

Unknown

For my 4th graders, turning 10 is huge. Double digits, you know.

For Alex Douglas, the protaganist in Eleven, by Tom Rogers, turning eleven means he is responsible enough to get a dog. Or so he hopes. Alex’s 11th  birthday doesn’t start off the way he expects and when you realize that Alex turns 11 on September 11, 2001, you know the day is not going to end the way he expects, either.

From the Publisher: Alex Douglas always wanted to be a hero. But nothing heroic ever happened to Alex. Nothing, that is, until his eleventh birthday. When Alex rescues a stray dog as a birthday gift to himself, he doesn’t think his life can get much better. Radar, his new dog, pretty much feels the same way. But this day has bigger things in store for both of them.

This is a story about bullies and heroes. About tragedy and hope. About enemies with two legs and friends with four, and pesky little sisters and cranky old men, and an unexpected lesson in kindness delivered with a slice of pizza.

I felt the author did an extraordinary job of presenting the human side of what happened on 9/11. The book is honest in depicting the violence of what happened without being overtly gory or sensationalist. The focus was put on the thoughts and feelings of the survivors, their will to help one another, and their longing to get home and embrace their families.

This is the best book you’ve never heard of. It is not a perfect novel, few are, but this one is really worth reading.

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