Tuesday, December 27, 2011

America is Under Attack

America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell Don Brown

A few years ago, one of my regulars (he would have been 8 or 9 at the time) came in, breathless. "MISS JENNIE! Did you know that a long time ago some bad guys flew planes into these really tall buildings in New York?!" It was a sobering moment. This event that has defined my entire adult life (I was a senior in college in 2001) was (a) news to him and (b) ancient history. And this was a boy who has lived his entire life less than 15 miles away from the Pentagon.

Sometimes, we question why we need books on certain subjects. Sometimes we forget that events that are so clear in our minds, things we will never, ever, ever forget, don't mean anything to our kids.

America is Under Attack is a wonderful and sensitive introduction to 9/11. The stories of heroism and loss, of survival against the odds, of strangers helping stranger are all here. Some of the people we meet are dead by the end, some are not. I like that it focuses on the people and not the politics. Osama bin Laden is mentioned at the beginning. Bush and Guiliani are not. The reaction as we watched unfold on our TV screens is not. Instead we meet office workers and rescue workers. We're back in the moment, where we don't know what's going on, don't realize it's a planned attack instead of a horrible accident.

Also, usually I'm one for using photographs to illustrate nonfiction. Photos are a primary source and illustrations filter the source through the artist's lens. But...

This book is told like a story and the illustrations add to that tone. I also think that actual pictures might be a bit much for the younger audience this book is targeting.

Book Provided by... my local library

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