cover image America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2011: The Day the Towers Fell

America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2011: The Day the Towers Fell

Don Brown. Roaring Brook/Flash Point, $16.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-59643-694-7

Explaining the events of September 11, even 10 years afterward, is a task fraught with emotion. Brown's sturdy yet empathetic tone seems just right. Winnowing through the day's thousands of stories to focus on a representative few, he conveys suspense while maintaining respect, and pays understated homage to the heroism of the rescuers. Individuals who were inside the Twin Towers that day, or who went in to help%E2%80%94fire captain Jay Jonas, who led a team aiding an older woman whose bad feet made their exit agonizingly slow; Chris Young, who was trapped in an elevator and walked out unscathed%E2%80%94are studied in clear and telling detail. The worst moments%E2%80%94"at 9:59 AM the South Tower came down%E2%80%9D%E2%80%94are recorded with journalistic calm. Brown's courtroom-style artwork draws little attention to itself; he focuses on the anguished faces of spectators as they watch from the ground, pans across the Manhattan skyline, and portrays a crew of firefighters huddled in a corner, engulfed in smoke. An invaluable resource for educators and parents, it's also unexpectedly comforting: "We got through it,%E2%80%9D Brown seems to say, "and we are still here.%E2%80%9D Ages 9%E2%80%9312. (Aug.)