September 11th, 2016 by Karen
If you’re a regular Kidmomo reader, then you probably weren’t yet alive on September 11th, 2001. I was, but I wasn’t living in New York yet. (I moved here the following June.) Even so, it was a very difficult day. And a confusing day; we didn’t even know what was happening as it happened. I remember a friend told me at breakfast, “A plane just flew into one of the World Trade Center buildings in New York.” In that moment, we didn’t know why and we didn’t know how. I had no idea what it meant for people in Lower Manhattan that morning, nor what that day would come to mean for us all.
In Towers Falling by Jewel Parker Rhodes, the main character also experiences a lot of confusion as she learns about what happened that day. It’s years later, so there’s tons of info out there, but Deja has never been exposed to the details and she wasn’t alive herself to experience any of it.
Instead, she’s had to focus on the challenges in her own life. Like the fact that her dad is always sick and can’t work. Like their struggles living in a homeless shelter. Like always having to take care of her younger siblings. Like starting a new school where she’s sure no one will like her.
But at the new school, Deja does find some friends. And together, they try to piece together everything that happened on that fateful day in September. Partly they do it for school because it’s what they’re studying. But partly, they do it for themselves. And partly, Deja does it for her family — because it turns out that that her dad desperately wants her NOT to learn about the details of that day. But how can their family be whole and happy if he is keeping something secret about 9/11? Deja is determined to find out.
If you yourself don’t know a lot about September 11th or if you’re not sure if you’re ready for this book, definitely talk to a parent, a teacher, or another trusted adult in your life. In Towers Falling, Deja and her friends see some things they wish they could un-see, and I don’t want you to wish you could un-read this book. But once you’re ready, I highly recommend you check it out. Towers Falling is not just about 9/11; it’s also about how we define our community and how we support and connect with the people we care about.
More about Karen »
Review copy of the book provided by the publisher.