“Think critically.” – Miss Garcia

One Million Page Princess

I read an advanced copy of this book (generously shared with me by the publisher) to my Grade 6 class as part of our guided novel study. This is their honest review.

In “Towers Falling”, Jewell Parker Rhodes explains the horrific events of 9/11 in a way that children today can understand. The author has beautifully described the life of Déja, a young girl who lives in a homeless shelter with her sick father, overworked mother, and two young siblings. Secrets unravel as Déja learns about 9/11, and her world is changed forever in a hurricane of emotion. Her journey to uncover the truth about that horrible day also helps her learn about other cultures and diversity. This book made us think about how our actions affect others. When one person dies, it hurts hundreds of other people… their brothers, sisters, moms, dads, kids, grandparents, other relatives and friends. We may not have been alive during 9/11, but now we feel we can begin to understand how this event changed the world. This book will also help make readers understand the importance of friendship, being yourself, and accepting other people’s differences. “Towers Falling” reminds us that we are all different on the outside, but the same on the inside.

We agreed that this book is for Grade 5 to Grade 7, because if you’re too little then you may either get scared or won’t take the material seriously enough, or if you’re too old then you may find the language too simple. Unfortunately, we wish the story had kept going, or that there was a sequel on the way. Some of us felt the book ended abruptly, and left many questions unanswered, but we all agreed that we enjoyed how the story kept you guessing until the very last page. We also felt that while there was a lot of supporting detail about Déja’s father, we wish there had been more information about her mother, and her teacher Ms. Garcia. All in all, the book was very deep and emotional, but with happy and cheerful parts to celebrate too.

– Grade 6 at Brooksbank Elementary