Nine, Ten

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by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Four middle school kids’ stories weave together over the course of a few days – namely, September 9-11, 2001. At the beginning of the book, they are all in Chicago’s O’Hare airport for various reasons, and at the end, they are all together on September 11, 2002, for the first anniversary commemoration at Ground Zero. But in the middle, they have their own stories and perspectives on the day. Sergio lives in New York City and is very close friends with a firefighter who works in lower Manhattan; his backstory includes being homeless and losing his mother at a young age, being raised by his grandmother and dealing with his estranged father. Naheed lives in Ohio and is Muslim, and is also trying to mend a bullying incident she perpetrated against a classmate while also being the victim of teasing due to her hijab. Aimee is moving from Chicago to Los Angeles because of her mother’s job, which takes her to a meeting in the World Trade Center; the move means making new friends which is rocky. Finally, Will lives in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the fourth plane crashed into a field; Will’s father died tragically four years ago and also he’s trying to figure out his feelings toward a girl for the first time.

One of the things I liked most was, because they got to interact in the beginning, you could see how, for instance, Naheed saw Aimee, and then how Aimee sees herself (perfect and not-so-perfect, respectively). It reminded me a little of The Infinite In Between by Carolyn Mackler.

Interpersonal relations like: The Infinite In Between by Carolyn Mackler

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