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Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Avatar: The Last Airbender - North and South, Part Two by Gene Luen Yang
Bird & Squirrel On Fire by James Burks
Bird & Squirrel on the Edge! by James Burks
Captain Coconut and the Case of the Missing Bananas by Anushka Ravishankar and Priya Sundram
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
Dreadnought by April Daniels
Edible Numbers by Jennifer Vogel Bass
Extraordinary by Miriam Spitzer Franklin
Extreme Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm
Fenway and Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang by Victoria J. Coe
The 52-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Giant Days, Volume 1 by John Allison
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
The Maypop Kidnapping by C. M. Surrisi
New Cat by Yangsook Choi
Oh! by Kevin Henkes
Quiet! by Paul Bright
Rock with Wings by Anne Hillerman
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua
Toto Trouble: Back to Crass by Thierry Coppée
Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Miscellaneous
The February 2017 Gap
Seven narrative ways to travel
Thanks for the Memoirs

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Towers Falling: 02/08/17

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker RhodesI am normally reluctant to read historical fiction set around events that are still in living memory but aimed at younger generations. So often in these types of books there is the assumption that readers too young to have experienced the event (or too young to remember it) will still naturally feel as passionately about it as those who were directly affected by it.

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes, though, is different — beautifully, heartbreakingly different. Though it is written about the destruction of the World Trade Center it is set in the present. Rather than reliving events, it looks at the scars left behind and on the bewilderment the generations born after feel because they can't relate.

The story focuses on Deja, a young black girl recently moved from her home in Brooklyn to a homeless shelter for families in another part of the city. Her new class is doing a community project that culminates with the World Trade Center.

Deja, though, struggles with the assignment all the way through. First because she's new and doesn't feel part of this new community / neighborhood. She's embarrassed by being homeless. She's angry over losing her home.

As things progress she comes to realize that her understanding of recent events — recent at least in her parents' lifetime — is lacking. Something terrible happened and it has had lasting effects on the city and on her family.

As Deja learns about the events of September 11, 2001, she also learns about her father's decline — his growing depression, the reason why he can't hold onto a job, and his mood swings every fall.

Deja's experience, with the help of a classmate who has access things she does not (like the internet) is heartbreaking. She comes to learn about the event and the people who died. She comes to understand and internalize the events that she didn't experience.

Five stars

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