Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Friday, November 18, 2016

with their eyes: September 11th: The View From a High School at Ground Zero

with their eyes:
September 11th:
The View From a High
School at Ground Zero
by Anna Thoms
From the publisher:
"Tuesday, September 11, started off like any other day at Stuyvesant High School, located only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. The semester was just beginning, and the students, faculty, and staff were ready to begin a new year.

But within a few hours on that Tuesday morning, they would all share an experience that transformed their lives.

Now, on the tenth anniversary of September 11th, we remember those who were lost and those who were forced to witness this tragedy. Here, in their own words, are the firsthand stories of a day we will never forget."

Very different perspective on the events of September 11th. Here are some random ramblings on what I read:
*I think it would be interesting to do some sort of follow-up on the people in the book. Have they been affected by PTSD, or health issues due to the particles in the air? 
*I recently visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum and saw the flag that was put on the fallen towers. I wish I would have known the story behind it when I was there. 
*I was struck by the thoughts of one of the high school students who was so angry with the out-of-town visitors who were taking pictures and treating it as a tourist attraction. He wanted to tell them that when something that meant a lot to them was blown up in their backyard, that he would make sure to come and take pictures there.
*The story of the young man whose family had left their windows open that day and when they were finally allowed to return to their home, the dust and debris were everywhere. 
*The resiliency of youth was very apparent. Some of them hardly seemed affected at all, aside from the trial of having to go to another school for a few weeks.
There were many more things that touched me or made me think. I just did a genre book talk with a 7th grade student. She had read Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story, and was using it for her historical fiction genre book. Wow. Something that we lived through and changed our world is now history for my students. That is why it is important to have these kind of books available for them to read. And I loved that is wasn't just from the students' perspective, but custodians, teachers, administrators and even a lunch lady. Fascinating, traumatic, and touching stories!

Areas of concern:
*There is some language as they interviewed people and used their exact words - even the uh's, um's, like's... So the "s" word was used a handful of times, and the "f" word appears 3 times. I was actually pretty impressed that was all that was in it considering the circumstances.
*There is nothing graphic mentioned, but there were disturbing allusions to the events of September 11th. 

Suggested Ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 13+
School Library Journal - Grades 7+

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