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Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin
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Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story: 11/26/16

Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

September marked the fifteenth anniversary of the of hijacking attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the failed attempt that was taken down over a field in Pennsylvania. It marked a turning point in U.S. policy, driven primarily by extreme conservatives who are using the national and religious identities of the hijackers to justify racial profiling and other racist bullshit.

More people have now died as a result to our reaction to the attacks than did in the attacks. That's not to diminish the shock everyone felt that morning or the incredible, unthinkable losses that families experienced as a result of that day.

In the year or so following the attack the first books about the event, or inspired by it, appeared. Those initial ones were primarily self published. Now that the event is long enough ago to be before this generation of children were born, the big named publishers are releasing books for middle grade readers

Because of the early hour of the attack — 8 AM Eastern Day Light, for much of the country the event was already over by the time everyone woke up. Those in the western and Pacific states woke to find the other half of the country reeling.

So that brings us to Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin. It's set up like a disaster book — two days before the event, from the perspective of middle grade aged children who are traveling by airplane for one reason or another. Now anyone who reads disaster stories knows that the usually one or more of these introduced characters dies over the course of the disaster — not everyone, of course, as there has to be a hero (or two).

Already, the use of that trope makes me dislike this book. It's divisive and manipulative. Of course children died in the attacks — there were some on all the planes.

Of course, this being a middle grade fiction, all of the main characters are having their own personal drama with friends or family. The tragedy of the day will after everything has heated up with them, make them realize how petty their grievances. In the end, because they survive (and their loved ones do too), they are stronger, better people for it.

Two stars

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