The legacy of 9/11 asserts its mark on a pair of contemporary, white, Jewish teens.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Abbi Hope Goldstein was immortalized in a famous photograph taken on her first birthday, in which she was being carried out of her day care while the first World Trade Center tower collapsed in the background. Thereafter known as “Baby Hope,” 17-year-old Abbi is recognized all over her suburban New Jersey town. When she starts to develop a bloody cough, her instinct is to hide her symptoms from her worrying parents so that she can enjoy one last summer before having to face the likelihood that she will succumb to 9/11 syndrome, which afflicts some of those exposed to toxins at ground zero. Working as a summer camp counselor a few towns over, she is immediately recognized by her co-worker Noah Stern, who sees in Abbi the potential to answer a life-defining question regarding his own 9/11 tragedy. Together they embark on a mission to talk to the other individuals pictured in the Baby Hope photo, an emotional journey that is tempered by a generous amount of banter between the quick-witted, endearingly awkward pair. Ultimately, their story delivers its fair share of gut punches and cathartic moments, couched in an overall light-toned narrative.
A valuable addition to the growing body of 9/11–related teen literature—one that will be especially appealing to teens today. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14-18)