“I don’t know how yet – but the towers falling is my history, too.”
When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?
This story is a great way to introduce the events of September 11 to your elementary-aged children. This story does so many things, but all of them in a gentle and respectful way. Jewell Parker Rhodes is fantastic at taking a difficult topic and writing about it in a way that children can understand and empathize with. Through Deja’s story, they will learn about 9/11, but also poverty and the unhoused, immigration, and discrimination.
This Lit Bite takes 3 weeks to complete (as written) and is flexible age-wise, but best for ages 7 – 10.
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