A terrified 11-year-old gets an “extremely loud and incredibly close” view of the World Trade Center attacks in this disaster series’ latest entry.
Thoroughly bummed at having to drop football in the wake of his third concussion, Lucas cuts school for the lower Manhattan firehouse where beloved “Uncle” Benny—his firefighter father’s colleague and closest friend—is stationed. He arrives just as the first plane does, and hearing that all firefighters have been summoned to the scene, he sets out to find Benny and his dad. Supplemented by occasional staid but realistic scenes from Dawson, Tarshis effectively captures not only the sequence of events and the pervasive confusion and shock as the catastrophe develops, but also its gargantuan scale. Though the author plays with readers' sympathies in the final chapter with a needless red herring, in general she crafts a dramatic, emotionally intense tale that takes account of 9/11’s physical and emotional costs—short- and long-term—while ending on an upward beat.
Though not yet born in 2001, the intended audience will come away feeling more connected to the tragedy and aware of its historical significance. (afterword, timeline) (Historical fiction. 9-11)