(Middle-grade reading level - Some sexual innuendo, death related to 9/11)
We all Fall Down sounds just so predictable - it the story of a teen boy who’s forced to come to work with his father on what turns out to be a momentous day. Yet, it is such an engaging story that I read it in one sitting! Walters did an excellent job crafting such a realistic protagonist in Will, but his true achievement is capturing the terror those in the south tower must have felt on 9/11. Only 56 minutes elapsed between Flight 175 hitting the tower until it collapsed, but Walters description of the events makes it feel like time has just stopped! Readers interested in understanding the issues that led to the attack will have to make do with only a brief discussion between Will and his father as the story of their survival takes center stage.
From the publisher, “A novel from one of the country’s most prolific and popular YA authors, this book, set in New York City on September 11th, shows us how the experiences of that day profoundly changed one teen’s life and relationships.
Today is September 10, 2001, and Will, a grade nine student, is spending the day at his father’s workplace tomorrow. As part of a school assignment, all the students in his class will be going to their parents tomorrow, but Will isn’t excited about it–he’d rather sleep in and do nothing with his friends. His father doesn’t even have an exciting job like his best friend James’s father who is a fireman. Will’s dad works for an international trading company and has to wake up early every morning to commute to his office on the eighty-fifth floor in the south building of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Will doesn’t see his father very often because of the hours he puts in at the office. He doubts that his dad will bother making time for him tomorrow even when they are supposed to be spending the day together.
In this fast-paced and dramatic new novel by bestselling author Eric Walters, Will discovers a new side of his father during an event that continues to affect the world. As Will’s new teacher says, tomorrow “might be an experience that changes your entire life.”