Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers 

Summary:  On September 10, 2010, four kids deal with difficulties in their lives.  In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Will is still grieving the loss of his father, killed when trying to help a stranded motorist on the highway.  Aimee’s mother is off on another business trip to New York City, while Aimee stresses about starting a new school in California.  Sergio is so upset with his absentee father that he skips school and rides the NYC subway, where he meets a kind firefighter who takes Sergio under his wing.  Naheed is starting middle school and for the first time in her life, is self-conscious about the hijab she wears.  Everything changes early the next morning, when events unfold across the U.S. that will impact all four children for a long time into the future.  The final chapter, “One Year Later” brings them together for the one-year ceremony at Ground Zero.  An author’s note tells her personal story of 9/11 and how she came to write this book.  208 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  Four engaging stories come together on two fateful days.  Fans of the “I Survived” series will enjoy this book—while there isn’t much of the survival element, it is gripping historical fiction about a catastrophic event.

Cons:  So many characters in a relatively short book makes it hard to get to know any one of them.

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