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America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell

By: Don Brown

On a beautiful September morning in 2001, four planes crossed the sky. “Among their ordinary passengers were nineteen deadly men.” Author’s note. Bibliography. Source notes. Full-color watercolor illustrations.
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ISBN: 9781596436947


Series: Actual Times
Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Terrorist attacks, September 11, 2001 , Terrorism , War on terrorism, 2001-2009 , Disasters , World Trade Center , U ,S , Pentagon , Firefighters , Rescue workers , Heroism

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Awards & Honors

SLJ Best Books of 2011, Nonfiction; ALA Notable Children’s Book 2012, Middle; 2012 CCBC Choices

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

STARRED REVIEW
Specifically addressing young readers with no memory of that tragic day, America combines news reports with published eyewitness accounts. Brown’s compelling narrative chronologically recounts the morning’s events in a tone both straightforward and compassionate, without resorting to sensationalism. Bro
STARRED REVIEW
Specifically addressing young readers with no memory of that tragic day, America combines news reports with published eyewitness accounts. Brown’s compelling narrative chronologically recounts the morning’s events in a tone both straightforward and compassionate, without resorting to sensationalism. Brown’s watercolor illustrations, covering most of each spread, mirror this voice, conveying the day’s chaos and despair without unnecessarily frightening readers. The lack of a table of contents, chapter breaks, and an index suggests that this is a one-sitting read, but the book certainly contains enough information for research. An author’s note, source notes, and a brief bibliography are included.—Rebecca Dash Donsky, New York Public Library

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
Odd to think that the audience for this book consists mainly of people who had not yet been born on September 11th ten years ago, but even to them this tragedy must seem closer than the subjects of Brown’s previous Actual Times books: 9/11 began a war we are still fighting. The approach is solid and journalistic, e
[STARRED REVIEW]
Odd to think that the audience for this book consists mainly of people who had not yet been born on September 11th ten years ago, but even to them this tragedy must seem closer than the subjects of Brown’s previous Actual Times books: 9/11 began a war we are still fighting. The approach is solid and journalistic, emphasizing the facts of what happened on that day rather than considerations of its causes or effects, and the account is chronological, moving from 8:46 a.m., when the North Tower was struck, to 9:03 a.m. (the South Tower), to 9:37 a.m. (the Pentagon), to 10:03 a.m., when the fourth plane “smashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” and beyond to the collapse of the Towers. The text is continuous, weaving the events of the morning with the experiences of some of the victims and survivors: “Eighty-nine-year-old Moe Lipson climbed down eighty-eight floors, walked a mile, and then hailed a cab to take him home.” (If there is any larger statement being made in this book, it is one about the arbitrary nature of fate.) Illustrated on every spread with line-and-wash pictures that are forthright but never sensational, the book is superbly focused and completely honest. An author’s note supplies grim statistics; a bibliography and source notes for quotations are appended.

Junior Library Guild

  • Honest without sensationalizing: Don Brown uses clear, straightforward text and powerful illustrations to capture the chaos and emotion of 9/11: “In 102 minutes hijackers had destroyed the World Trade Center, crippled the Pentagon, and doomed four jet liners.”
  • Provides a sequential account of the day’s events,
    • Honest without sensationalizing: Don Brown uses clear, straightforward text and powerful illustrations to capture the chaos and emotion of 9/11: “In 102 minutes hijackers had destroyed the World Trade Center, crippled the Pentagon, and doomed four jet liners.”
    • Provides a sequential account of the day’s events, seamlessly incorporating quotes from witnesses and survivors. A flight attendant on one of the planes “managed to alert on-the-ground authorities to the hijacking. She reported, ‘Something is wrong . . . We are flying very, very low.’” And a soldier said after the Pentagon crash, “The heat inside was so hot, it felt like the sun kissing you.”
    • Brown varies perspective in his artwork, sometimes concentrating on the events themselves, other times concentrating on people’s reactions. Especially striking images include a view from the South Tower moments before the second plane hits and an image of firemen barely visible in a black cloud as one of the towers falls.
    • An important documentation of recent history. Brown offers further information and context in a detailed author’s note, including an explanation of how his own town of Merrick, New York, was affected.

Book Details

ISBN

9781596436947

Genre

Dewey Classification

973.931

Trim Size

7" x 9"

Page Count

64

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.8; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.5; Points: 3;

Lexile

Level 840L

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Roaring Brook

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Terrorist attacks, September 11, 2001, Terrorism, War on terrorism, 2001-2009, Disasters, World Trade Center, U,S, Pentagon, Firefighters, Rescue workers, Heroism,

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