Sunday, July 17, 2016

TOWERS FALLING by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Towers Falling
This is the second book about 9/11 I have read in recent weeks. The first was NINE, TEN. Both offer excellent ways to introduce the world changing tragedy into the curriculum of elementary and middle schools. Thank you to two talented authors interested in sharing history with readers who were not even born on September 11, 2001.

According to Deja, her family has always been poor, but they have hit a new low. Living accommodations provided by Avalon Family Residence shelter is about as low as it can get. Because her father can't hold a job, her family of five is now squeezed into one room, and Deja is faced with starting the year at a new school.

Her new teacher Mrs. Garcia announces they will be participating in something called an integrated curriculum. Deja has no idea what to expect, but at least she makes two fast friends, Ben and Sabeen. Ben is originally from Arizona and Sabeen's family are Turkish immigrants. Both Ben and Sabeen seem to know more about NYC than native Deja, but that soon changes as the new class curriculum is revealed.

Author Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly tells the story of three young Americans fifteen years after the tragedy of 9/11. In heartbreaking clarity, Rhodes explains that Deja's father suffers from PTSD as a survivor of the World Trade Center collapse. All three students learn the importance of history in the shaping of their personal lives, the country, and even the world. Every library and classroom should have at least one copy of TOWERS FALLING.

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