A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The destruction of the World Trade Center towers and the crashes into the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania are reported in a chronological narrative that is both sensitive and informative. It touches on the political intent of Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda, but focuses primarily on what happened and how people helped one another deal with the disaster as it unfolded.
The events of Sept. 11, 2001, were shocking and horrific. But in the face of that tragedy, ordinary people did heroic things, strangers helped other strangers, and, though life went on for most of us, it had been changed forever.
Positive Role Models
The stories of real people weave together to show how, in the face of the 9/11 tragedy, people of all sorts, from fire chiefs to window washers to ordinary office workers, pulled together to help one another cope with a world exploding and collapsing around them. Without being overly sentimental, the author uses real quotes and examples to paint realistic characters who show selfless concern for others.
Violence & Scariness
This is definitely a violent story, from the first fiery plane crash to the final sandwiching collapse of the 110-floor towers. The illustrations convey the fear and horror of the day's events, but none of the violence is gory or gratuitous. Nor is it inflated to scare or overwhelm the reader.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fourth volume in the Actual Time series by Don Brown is a very straightforward, journalistic account of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Quotes from real people as well as their stories provide the human element, and graphic, though not gory, watercolor illustrations show the destruction of the plane crashes as well as the emotions of the people involved. Though it is written as a picture book, and suggested for ages 6 to 10, it is more appropriate for those 9 and over. Parents of any age reader definitely should be prepared to discuss the events and emotions with their children.
Is It Any Good?
This is an excellent book that finds the perfect balance between fact and feeling in describing the horrific event of 9/11. Readers who lived through that time, as well as those who were not born yet, will find value in this account, due to the straightforward presentation of facts and the masterful use of watercolor illustrations to amplify the narrative. The title, designed like a newspaper headline (the Actual Times), sets a journalistic tone, and the story that follows rings true.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.