Title: The Attacks of September 11, 2001The ATtacks of September 11, 2001
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Illustrator: Scott Dawson
Pages: 98
Recommended Ages: 9-13
Star Rating: ★★★★

A fictionalized account of one boy, two firefighters, and a catastrophe which shook the nation.

The Story.

Lucas loves playing football. And he’s good at it, too. He loves the feeling of springing into the air, hands outstretched to snag the hurtling ball. And even more, the satisfying thud of crashing safely to the ground, the ball nestled in his arms. But on one of these jumps, his flight is impeded by a twisting ankle… his head… why does it ache so?

Lucas has had a concussion. It isn’t his first, and by itself it’s not so serious. But taken in conjunction with his previous injuries, his parents and doctor are worried. Too many more of these, and Lucas could suffer severe brain damage.

So they decide to take him out of football. Lucas is hurt and bewildered. He decides that he must speak with Uncle Benny, a man who works as a firefighter with his dad. He goes to the firehouse, located blocks away from the twin towers. And while he is there, a plane crashes into the skyscraper…

Discussion.

Lucas is a boy who loves his father and who loves spending time with his father – building models and joking around. But then, his father was in an accident. Uncle Benny moved in to help out around the house. Lucas was lonely. He and Uncle Benny bonded. Uncle Benny introduced him to football. Lucas was hooked.

When his father came out of the hospital. Lucas was overjoyed – eager to commence their relationship. But his father seemed vague and distant. He was no longer interested in spending time with Lucas. So, Lucas turned to football for security.

Then, the injuries came. His parents want to pull him out of football. Lucas is desperate. Football has become his life. So, without his parents’ knowledge, Lucas skips school and takes a train over to Manhattan to see Uncle Benny. And while he is there, he sees the Twin Towers under attack.

Lucas’s father, who is himself a firefighter, finds Lucas. Together they rescue a few people and experience the collapse of Tower One. And once again, they are bonded together.

That was one good thing that had come out of that day – Lucas and Dad.

They’d marched out of the dust holding hands and just kept on marching, together. [pg. 79]

No explanation is given of the Towers’ demise in the story, but in the Appendix, the government-issued explanation is included.

‘Darn’ is used once. Also, a man says ‘my God’ when he sees the second jet slam into the tower.

Lucas watches ESPN.

Uncle Benny has a shamrock tattoo.

Conclusion. It’s so interesting to read about events that occurred in my lifetime – that I can remember – and which have become an important part of history.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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