I find it interesting that many times I've read a few books on the same topic within a short period of time. These two were books I read this past month. One is a middle grade novel while the other is an adult non-fiction book, but although I thought I knew this topic very well, I still found myself coming across new information about this devastating day.
Ground Zero by Alan Gratz- Alan Gratz is a master of the middle grade novel. This latest book is set on 9/11 and features two characters: Brandon and Reshmina. Brandon is on his way to work with his dad at the Twin Towers after being suspended from school for a day. Reshmina lives in Afghanistan with her family in a town that has just had US soldiers arrive. Both of these kids must fight for their survival as they are faced with a variety of challenges. (Brandon's escape from the World Trade Center mirrored a portion of Fall and Rise as he and a group trapped in an elevator had to chop through layers of paneling to get to safety). Each chapter seems to end on a cliffhanger and as the novel concludes the two stories intersect, providing a lot of things to think about for readers- and no easy answers.
Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 by Mitchell Zuckoff - I was a new mother at home on maternity leave when the events of September 11 occurred. I was glued to the television for days and subsequently read any human interest story that was published about the people who lived through that day. Zuckoff's provides an in-depth look at a variety of people who were affected by the events of 9/11- from a pilot, to flight attendants, rescue workers, employees who worked in the Twin Towers, civilians traveling on the flights that were hijacked - Zuckoff shares their stories making their tragedies that much more personal and heartbreaking. I appreciated that most of the stories he told were not about people I'd already heard and read about, just showing showing us that vastness of the number of people who were affected. This isn't an easy read, but it is one that helps those of us who were alive but physically removed from the tragedy a glimpse of the horror so many experienced.
I'm looking for some other good book pairings in my future reading....you never know what I might pick up.