From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks in a classroom of students who cannot remember the event but live through the aftermath of its cultural shift.
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, Dèja 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?
Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren't alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.
With the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, D ja's fifth-grade teacher draws the students' attention to the skyline outside their classroom window, pointing out where the towers once stood. At first, D ja is unable to fathom how something that happened so long ago could have any bearing on her, especially when she has more immediate problems her family is currently living in a shelter. But she learns that the events of 9/11 have a long reach, affecting those closest to her in ways large and small. Rhodes (Sugar) gives readers an approachable entry point to consider the terrorist attacks of 9/11, as well as homelessness, discrimination, divorce, and other subjects. Through D ja's interactions with classmates from a range of backgrounds (D ja is African-American, and her new friends Sabeen and Ben have Turkish and Mexican heritage, respectively), readers will develop a richer understanding of what it means to be American, as well as the interconnectedness of the present and past. Rhodes approaches a complex, painful topic with insight and grace, providing context to an event distant to the book's audience. Ages 8 12.