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Claire, Jasper and Peter are all impacted by the events of 9/11 however their feelings range from complete disconnect to wanting to be right in the center of it all. Although these three characters are on a different journey looking for some kind of peace or closure they are all connected in some way. As the story unfolds the connection between these three becomes deeper and more profound. This does not happen without each of them encountering a hurdle with one another and/or alone.
Claire is a high school senior. She lives blocks away from the Twin Towers. Claire is at school when the first plane strikes and her instinct to help others kicks in. She rushes to her brother’s school where she offers support to his teacher. This isn’t where here need to help others ends. Throughout the story her quest to helps others is what helps her ease her own pain.
Jasper is home from college. His parents are visiting his grandmother in Korea. Jasper sleeps through the entire thing and wakes to NYC being devastated by the terrorist attack. He struggles with feeling connected to the events that occurred. Jasper is unsure about how he can help and when he decides to go give blood he is shot down because of his sexuality. This disconnects him further from the events that have occurred
Peter is the only character that actually witnesses one of the planes strike a tower. Ironically he is waiting in line at Tower Records to by a CD. It is Peter’s connection to music that helps him cope the 9/11 tragedy. Songs that he heard previously now hold new meaning to him and he finds a peace in coming together with others because of music.
This isn’t a story about the history of 9/11 so if that is what you are looking for you will not find it here. This is a story about humanity and the connection we all have to one another when tragedy strikes despite our differences. I enjoyed reading this book especially since I remember 9/11 so vividly myself. However you do not need to have lived through 9/11 to find yourself engaged or connected to these characters or the book.
"This, I think is how people survive: Even when horrible things have been done to us, we can still find gratitude in one another"
-David Levithan p. 76
*Yarritza Delgado is a graduate student at Nazareth College. She is also a third grade teacher in RCSD. She enjoys reading young adult literature in order to find ways to connect to her students and she encourages her own children to read them as well. Yarritza hopes to one day use her literacy specialist degree to help continue to educate and encourage young adults to read.