But that's about to change.
At her new school, the teachers and the principal will never allow that day to be forgotten. It's etched in the school's collective--for right outside the school's windows and across the water is a clear view of where the towers once stood. Her fifth-grade teacher, Miss Garcia, saw the towers fall. And so, despite Pop's objection to the past being discussed, Dèja is about to discover all about the day the towers fell.
"I turn to go. It's raining. Figures. It's a light, misty rain, and across the river, I see the new sparkly tower. In class, every day, I'm going to be bothered by it. Why did Miss Garcia show us a picture of what used to be?"
Towers Falling is sure to be a read-aloud favorite for teacher's with middle-grade readers for a number of reasons. First, the story contains main characters, preteens from vastly different cultural backgrounds, who get along organically as they work together on a difficult school assignment. Second, it's enjoyable to watch Dèja blossom into a confident young lady as she, along with her friends, Sabeen and Ben, discover that the past is interwoven with the present. Third, award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes's writing is easy off the tongue and sweet on the ears.
Lastly, the ending is satisfying and hopeful. It shows how confronting the past is more empowering than ignoring it. TOWERS FALLING will be released by Little, Brown Books for Younger Readers in July 2016, in time for the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attack of 9-11. It is, in my opinion, a must-read--especially for young people, who like Dèja, were not alive when those fateful events unfolded.
TOWERS FALLING, a middle-grade novel for ages 8-12, is published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (July 2016), and written by Jewell Parker Rhodes, author of NINTH WARD, a Coretta Scott King honor book, and SUGAR, winner of the Jane Adams Peace Association book award.