…and After

7 Sep

Monday, I wrote about Nine, Ten which focused on the days leading up to 9/11. Today’s book, Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes, deals with the aftermath.

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Publisher’s Summary: From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes, a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks.

When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?

Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren’t alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.

For a small book, this one covers a lot of territory. We have kids with a range of knowledge about 9/11, survivor guilt, community and what it means to be an American.

Deja was a little hard to like at first. She is very defensive, trying not to let people know she lives in a shelter, prickly because so many responsibilities fall on her shoulders. As you to know her,  she becomes more likable and finally you end up rooting for her and her family. I think, too, that this book might make readers curious to fill in gaps in their knowledge about 9/11.

The language in this one is appropriate for 4th & 5th grade readers.

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