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You know the saying, Go Big or Go Home? Author Jewell Parker Rhodes decided to do both. Deja’s new "home” is Avalon, a homeless shelter in New York City, with her mother, father, and two younger siblings. As if Avalon isn’t strange enough, her new school isn’t helping, with its weird range of international students and its new goal to teach Deja’s 5th grade class about the events 9/11. When her new teacher begins asking her to think about home, family, and identity, Deja begins an emotional journey that will change her inside and out. Towers Falling is an enormous novel in a teeny tiny package. Open the cover, and Deja’s story will expand to fill the space where you’re reading – sometimes to the point that it is hard to breathe. Although written for middle-grade readers, this novel is heavy and complicated and will leave many readers feeling upset. It is a perfect selection to read as a class, group, or with a parent, as younger readers will have lots of questions and concerns. Add Towers Falling to your must-read list and get ready to share some difficult but worthwhile experiences with your reader(s). History, even at its most tragic, is a part of each of us and must be explored, not avoided. Embrace this opportunity to learn, and cry, together.
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