Review: Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Towers Falling by Jewell Parker RhodesTowers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on July 12th 2016
Genres: Realistic Fiction
Pages: 232
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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three-stars
From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes, a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks.

When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can't help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?

Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren't alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.

Towers Falling is a book that instantly intrigued me with its promise to tackle the subject of 9/11. I was in second grade when the towers fell and now I’m 21 and an adult. This means that I’m closer and closer to the day when I have kids and have to explain this horrible event that happened in our recent history.

I know there’s some controversy with the events surrounding 9/11 and whether or not it’s a good thing to teach to kids and younger teens. And even then there’s the discussion that yes kids must learn about this tragic day but at what age are they ready for this sort of information? This is something that Towers Falling answers.

Towers Falling reads like a pure Middle Grade book in that it is short, easy to read, and gets to the point quickly. Deja’s life has been directly impacted by the events of 9/11. She’s recently homeless and has a father who doesn’t work and sometimes seems so broken. What Deja learns is that her father worked in one of the towers on that day and that he lost so many of his friends and coworkers.

Personally I think it’s important to teach the events of 9/11 to kids because in the instance of Deja, it can help to explain so many other aspects of their lives. Once Deja realizes her father’s past, she realizes that’s the reason he’s so sad and gets sick and can’t work. Deja and her friends also realize that 9/11 is the reason their friend Sabeen and her family are treated differently by some people.

Towers Falling does an excellent job of giving a basic and necessary overview whilst focusing on how 9/11 impacted the people of the United States. It serves to teach kids just a little bit about a tragic event.

Review in Review:

I liked Towers Falling. I like what it stands for and how it can serve to educate the youth of our present who may not know about what happened in our past. It reads like a true Middle Grade in that it ‘s quick and easy and I think it’s a great book for kids and young adults.

About the Author:

Jewell Parker Rhodes is the Piper Endowed Chair and founding artistic director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She has won numerous awards for her books for children and adults. Ninth Ward, her first novel for young readers, was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a Notable Book for a Global Society, and a Today show Al’s Book Club for Kids selection.

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