Monday, September 12, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: America is Under Attack by Don Brown

America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001, The Day the Towers Fell
written and illustrated by Don Brown
Roaring Brook Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59643-694-7
Grades 2-5
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Some things shouldn't be relived, it keeps the wound from healing.  On the other hand, sometimes remembering or opening the wound can aid the healing process, like draining an infection. I saw articles and photographs that focused on the events of the day, these made me cry. It was like it was happening all over again. I also saw articles focusing on what some people have done to memorialize their lost loved ones.  These reminded me of the beauty that can arise from ashes.

At the tenth anniversary of September 11, the question arises, how do we talk to children about what happened that day.  The children I work with weren't even born when it happened. How do we help students understand the event without giving more detail than is appropriate.  Don Brown has answered that question beautifully. He gives the basic string of events, but he also humanizes the story by quoting and telling the experiences of some of those who were there that day.  The illustrations provide context without being graphic.  The use of illustrations softens things a bit.  Brown doesn't shy away from the things that went wrong, the chaos, the poor communication, etc. But he doesn't focus on that, he focuses on the sacrifices made by those who chose to risk and sometimes lose their lives to aide others and that is something always worth remembering.

Other reviews:
The Nonfiction Detectives
The Washington Post
Shelf-Employed
100 Scope Notes

Nonfiction Monday is a great way to find out about great nonfiction reads. Today it is hosted by Wrapped in Foil.


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