Title: Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story (August 2016)
Author: Nora Raleigh Baskin (USA)
Age in store: 11
Briefly, what it's about: Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story looks at the 48 hours leading up to the morning of September 11, 2001, through the day-to-day lives of four kids from across the United States: Sergio (Brooklyn, New York), who struggles to cope with his absentee father while living with his grandmother; Will (Shanksville, Pennsylvania), whose family is still trying to overcome the death of his father; Nadia (Columbus, Ohio), a Muslim girl born in the U.S. who gets teased for wearing a hijab, and Aimee (Los Angeles, California), who is adjusting to life in a new school after moving across the country. The book is told from the alternating perspectives of these four characters, none of whom are directly affected by the loss of a loved one that day, but rather who are forever changed by the events.
Lizzie's Rave: As author Nora Raleigh Baskin points out in the afterword of her novel, for kids today there is no “before 9/11,” that many children view it as an event that “happened in NYC” without understanding the far reaching effects of that day. She wrote this story to illustrate just how far reaching the effect was, and she succeeds brilliantly. Even though I was in elementary school when 9/11 happened, like many adults today, I remember exactly where I was when I found out.
For such a short novel, the impact of this book is remarkable. Baskin’s choice of having three-quarters of the book take place before the attacks on the Twin Towers means that we really get to know the characters, and the impact of 9/11 becomes that much more apparent. And yet, even though I knew what was coming, I found this book very suspenseful. I also loved how diverse the characters are, each with different races/religions/backgrounds/
circumstances. One of the strongest features of the book is how mindful the author is of her target audience -- she does not give gory details; she only provides enough to give readers a sense of the horrific events.
As we approach the 15th anniversary of 9/11, this timely book provides the perfect opportunity to open up discussion about the events of that day. Highly recommended!
Rating: 5/5 stars