[Blog Tour] Three Reasons to Read I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis

Hello, I’m back with a new spotlight, this time for a historical fiction graphic novel! Please support the rest of the blog tour by following this schedule and by checking out #SurvivedtheAttacksTour on Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you so much to Caffeine Book Tours for continuously giving me opportunities to work with them despite my on/off unplanned hiatus this season! You deserve all the love.

Publication Information

  • Publication Date: 3 August 2021
  • Publisher: Scholastic
  • Age Category: Middle Grade
  • Genre: Graphic Novel, Historical
  • Art:
  • Book links: Goodreads || StoryGraph

About the Book

On the day that shocks the world, one boy just wants to find his family. A powerful addition to the gripping I Survived series.

The only thing Lucas loves more than football is his Uncle Benny, his dad’s best friend at the fire department where they both work. Benny taught Lucas everything about football. So when Lucas’s parents decide the sport is too dangerous and he needs to quit, Lucas has to talk to his biggest fan. So the next morning, Lucas takes the train to the city instead of the bus to school. It’s a bright, beautiful day in New York. But just as Lucas arrives at his uncle’s firehouse, everything changes — and nothing will ever be the same again.

On-page representation: Asian main characters, Black side characters

Content/trigger warnings: Depictions of 9/11 attacks, PTSD (fire, death, and accidents), death of a parent, retirement from sport due to disability


Review

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley on Edelweiss from Scholastic and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in this blog tour. This does not affect my review.

1. The story deftly combines two related plots: Lucas’ sports and the actual 9/11 attacks

Many 9/11 stories I’ve read or encountered usually treat the tragedy as the be all and end all of history. However, in this graphic novel, I love how the author presents that there is life before the 9/11 and that there can be life after it. It does not push aside other experiences, but rather, it provides a space to mourn what has changed and celebrates what good has come out of it.

2. The art style maximizes the use of pacing and sparse backgrounds for a more dramatic storytelling

Hats off to Corey Egbert and Chi Ngo for the simple yet engaging art style! I love how thoughtful it is all put together: the muted colors of the scene of the tragedy, the sparse backgrounds, and the constrained use of speech and narrative bubbles. It does not clash with the somber tone employed by the author for respecting the dead, but it also does not diminish the characters’ joy and personalities.

This, for me, is the best part of this book. I love how the composition forces me to pause and hold my breath for dramatic reveals or There is no clutter; everything in the art style directs the reader’s attention to the emotional core of the story.

3. It does not rehash reductive explanations for 9/11

Op-ed articles and sentiments during that era have spread negative generalizations against Arabs and countries in the Middle East, which have resulted in countless lives lost and dangerous policies that are still in effect today. This graphic novel wisely omits the damaging stereotypes and updates the story with the recent decision to pull out of Afghanistan. Though I wish it could have been more vocal in its denouncement of atrocities resulting from this tragedy, I do understand the need to be more circumspect and cautious.


About the Author

Lauren Tarshis’ New York Times bestselling I Survived series (which has over 34 million copies in print!) tells stories of young people and their resilience and strength in the midst of unimaginable disasters and times of turmoil. Lauren has brought her signature warmth and exhaustive research to topics such as the battle of D-Day, the American Revolution, Hurricane Katrina, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the attacks of September 11, 2001, and other world events.

Lauren is also the Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, where she oversees more than 25 classroom magazines. In her more than 25 years with Scholastic, Lauren has helped transform the company’s print magazines into the powerful learning tools they are today. In her current role, she is helping to expand the magazines’ deep connection to American classrooms and ensure their vital role in providing teachers and students with an understanding of the contemporary world.

Author Platforms: Website || Goodreads || Twitter || Instagram


Hope you enjoyed my post! Please don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour by following this schedule 💖

Let’s chat:

  • Have you read any book from the I Survived series? Which one do you recommend I read next?
  • Do you have your own memories from 9/11? Do you want to talk about them?
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