Attack on America: The Day the Twin Towers Collapsed (American Disasters)

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9780766021181: Attack on America: The Day the Twin Towers Collapsed (American Disasters)

-- Examines the devastating effects of American disasters in a high-interest, exciting style geared toward reluctant readers.
-- Illustrates the basic scientific principles behind the disaster and includes personal accounts of survivors.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-9-Gow covers much of the same ground included in other surveys of the events of September 11, 2001: eyewitness accounts, brief histories of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the timing and nature of the attacks. She mentions the heroes and the helpers-professional, volunteer, and canine. Hers is a more graphic treatment, however, than most for this age group. The footnoted sources describe what it was like to see victims jumping from the towers, to observe "body parts all over the street," to be thrown through a wall, or feel one's hands on fire. Although acts of kindness are included, there is an overriding sense of panic and helplessness. The design contributes to the sensational quality, with its bold red chapter headings with edges resembling torn paper. The conclusions are simplistic and judgmental, with little mention of the multifaceted issues involved: "-the terrorist attacks were senseless acts, committed by men whose minds had been twisted by hatred." The final word goes to President Bush: "As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror." Any young person who is even vaguely aware of ensuing national and international events will be hard-pressed to feel comforted by this rhetoric. For more responsible coverage, choose Mitchel Levitas's A Nation Challenged: A Visual History of 9/11 and Its Aftermath-Young Reader's Edition (Scholastic, 2002).
Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 8-12. Assuming a dramatic narrative style, this title in the American Disasters series gives an account of the events of September 11, 2001. Unlike many recent titles about the tragedy, Gow's book relies heavily on survivor and eyewitness quotes, and the results are a terrifying overview of the day. The final chapter, simply titled "Why?", also differs by not offering the suggestion that hope begins with learning more: "Understanding the motives of the terrorists will probably not make it any easier for most people to understand the events of September 11." That sentiment, as well as some of the more graphic photos of bloodied victims, is sure to spark some controversy. But this title shows that there's no obvious, correct way to convey 9/11's impact; like other books spotlighted in this section, this offers a good place to begin sharing and debate. Back matter includes suggested reading and a "How You Can Help" listing of charitable organizations. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Gow, Mary
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