Reviews for America Is Under Attack : September 11, 2001: the Day the Towers Fell


Booklist Reviews 2011 September #1
A treatment of the attacks of September 11 relying heavily on illustration was inevitable, and something readers could anticipate with a mixture of hopefulness and trepidation. Thankfully, Brown's take, an entry in his Actual Times series, is a model of straightforward, earnest nonfiction writing that brings things to many an uncomfortable point--that cannot be avoided--without going too far. This is not a book about motives: "Al-Qaeda hated America's power and influence" is about all we get for a backdrop. Brown instead focuses upon the minute-by-minute progression of the attacks, from the initial pandemonium to the firefighters' attempt at rescue, along the way working in mini stories of various survivors and heroes. Brown's emotive watercolors keep faces indistinct, though there is no doubt that some of the images are frightening: the fireball blooming in the lobby of the North Tower, people hanging out of blasted upper windows, the two-page spread of black smoke that blots out all else. This is not transcendent, but that is all right; that this solid, well-sourced book makes no major missteps is a wonderful thing in itself. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
Brown's approach is solid and journalistic, emphasizing the facts rather than causes or effects. The text is continuous, weaving the events of the morning with the experiences of some of the victims and survivors. Illustrated with line-and-wash pictures that are forthright but never sensational, the book is superbly focused and completely honest. An author's note supplies grim statistics. Bib. Copyright 2012 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #6
Odd to think that the audience for this book consists mainly of people who had not yet been born on September 11th ten years ago, but even to them this tragedy must seem closer than the subjects of Brown's previous Actual Times books: 9/11 began a war we are still fighting. The approach is solid and journalistic, emphasizing the facts of what happened on that day rather than considerations of its causes or effects, and the account is chronological, moving from 8:46 a.m., when the North Tower was struck, to 9:03 a.m. (the South Tower), to 9:37 a.m. (the Pentagon), to 10:03 a.m., when the fourth plane "smashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania," and beyond to the collapse of the Towers. The text is continuous, weaving the events of the morning with the experiences of some of the victims and survivors: "Eighty-nine-year-old Moe Lipson climbed down eighty-eight floors, walked a mile, and then hailed a cab to take him home." (If there is any larger statement being made in this book, it is one about the arbitrary nature of fate.) Illustrated on every spread with line-and-wash pictures that are forthright but never sensational, the book is superbly focused and completely honest. An author's note supplies grim statistics; a bibliography and source notes for quotations are appended. roger sutton Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2012 January/February
Revisiting a day that changed the United States, this book takes readers through events at the three principal sites: the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The bulk of the book follows the events in New York, almost minute-by-minute. Filled with personal stories, the text is clear and includes quotes from eyewitnesses. Illustrations appear on almost every page, usually as two-page spreads that capture the enormity of the events as well as the personal impact. This book offers a sober account of the events, and does not shy away from the facts of death. It also includes some of the miraculous survival stories. While it would be a good source for supplemental material in social studies, the book would also be an interesting selection for independent reading for students who are drawn to true-life stories. An author's note and source notes are included. Bibliography. Mary Northrup, Reference Librarian, Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods, Kansas Cit , Missouri [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format.] RECOMMENDED ¬ 2011 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 November #2

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--fire 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--are studied in clear and telling detail. The worst moments--"at 9:59 AM the South Tower came down"--are 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," Brown seems to say, "and we are still here." Ages 9-12. (Aug.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

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--fire 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--are studied in clear and telling detail. The worst moments--"at 9:59 AM the South Tower came down"--are 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," Brown seems to say, "and we are still here." Ages 9-12. (Aug.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 September

Gr 3-6--Specifically addressing young readers with no memory of that tragic day, America combines news reports with published eyewitness accounts. Brown's compelling narrative chronologically recounts the morning's events in a tone both straightforward and compassionate, without resorting to sensationalism. Brown's watercolor illustrations, covering most of each spread, mirror this voice, conveying the day's chaos and despair without unnecessarily frightening readers. The lack of a table of contents, chapter breaks, and an index suggests that this is a one-sitting read, but the book certainly contains enough information for research. An author's note, source notes, and a brief bibliography are included.--Rebecca Dash Donsky, New York Public Library

[Page 134]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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