Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
"Where were you when the Twin Towers fell?"
Most adults remember vividly where they were and what they were doing when they learned that terrorists hijacked planes, targeting and destroying the World Trade Center. Americans have a visceral response, remembering clearly the events of those dismal days in September 2001 and their personal connection to the tragedy. This event is firmly rooted into the history of the US.
When she arrives at her new school in Brooklyn she glimpses Manhattan from the classroom window. The view reveals a sight not familiar to her. Her perceptions of the world continue to expand as her teacher along with classmates Ben and Sabeen open her eyes to events of American's recent past.
"Sometimes it isn't about what you do, it's about what you see."
Parker tenderly takes young readers by the hand, as they follow Déja on her journey of self-discovery, learning what it means to be a part of a larger community. Young Déja slowly grasps the ways in which the past has shaped her present. She explores her connection to family, community, country, and history.
With the help of her friends and family, Déja begins to comprehend exactly what happened on that fateful September day and its long-reaching implications.
"America is my history. My story."
"I don't know how yet - but the towers falling is my history too. My friend, Ben, showed me. My friend Sabeen, shared hurt. Sadness. Sadness... History is about feelings, too. I'm happy I'm American. But sometimes American history isn't happy."
Descriptions of the fall of the towers, while not overly graphic, are authentic and painful.
"The building whined. Inside it felt like there was an earthquake shaking the foundation, the walls, windows. and ceiling."
"Did you know, Deja, stretching steel shrieks, clangs as joints shift? Something told me the tower was dying."
A word about the cover: Instantly the eye is drawn to the Freedom Tower dominating the skyline. Look at the image below this tower and note the word "falling" within ghosts of the Twin Towers.
My original impression was that I was looking at a reflection - but not so. This is an inverted image of the New York City skyline. Everything, while visually similar has shifted. With the falling of the towers, the city has been forever changed. The creation of One World Center does not replace what once was. It is a new cityscape,
America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell
by Don Brown
Nonfiction. A chronological account of September 11, written to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the tragedy. Line and wash illustrations on each page provide detail without sensationalizing.
Great informative source for young readers.
Nine, Ten, A September 11 Story
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Middle grade historical fiction follows the lives of Sergio in Brooklyn, Nadira in Ohio, Aimee in California, and Will in Pennsylvania and describes each of their lives on and leading up to September 11, 2001.
"Life doesn't work that way, even in the Magic Kingdom."