We All Fall Down.
Anne Hutchings is a public-school teacher and librarian in Ajax,
Tomorrow is “Take Our Kids to Work” day and grade 9 student Will is going to the office with his father, who has an important job with an international trading company. That sounds pretty dull to Will compared to what other kids in his class will be experiencing, shadowing a firefighter, an ER doctor, and an MTV producer. Will wonders, too, if his father, who puts in such long hours and is rarely home, will be able to make time for him tomorrow.
Will is agreeably surprised the next morning when he discovers that his father has, in fact, been looking forward to this day with a great deal of pleasure. After an early start and a commute by car, train, and subway followed by a short walk, they arrive at the office—on the 85th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. It is Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
At 8:46 the first plane hits the North Tower. Immediately Will’s father makes the decision to evacuate his own office as well as the other offices on the 85th floor. But at 9:03, before he and Will can leave, the second plane crashes into the South Tower.
In spite of learning that the point of impact was below them, after calm and careful deliberation Will’s father decides to head down. Preparing themselves as much as possible, they begin the torturous descent.
Teen readers will be very much aware of the tragic events of that awful day, planes slamming into first one and then the other of the buildings, and then the collapse of the twin towers. They will have heard and read of the many acts of heroism that occurred that day and in the days to follow. And they will know all too well that, although Will’s story has a happy ending, not all were as lucky. Very few books have been written for teens about the events of 9/11. Eric Walters’s suspense-filled novel is one that will capture and hold their interest. We All Fall Down is a powerful and gripping story from start to finish. Highly recommended.