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 work 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.”
Will Fuller and James Bennett played in a band together with a couple of other guys and they were trying to come up with a name. When Mrs. Phelps their history teacher mentioned the bubonic plague or Black Death, they thought that might be a fitting name. Then they decided they weren’t black and seriously hoped nobody would die, so back to the drawing board. Will played bass and saxophone and James played the guitar.
The following day the students would be working at their co-op placements and everyone was excited about going to work with parents and other relatives. One girl was spending the day in the emergency department as her Mom was a doctor. Another student was spending the day in court as their father was a judge. James would be spending the day at the fire department with his Dad. Poor Will thought he had the most boring and uninteresting placement of all. Spending the day with his father at his office in Manhattan where he worked for an international trading company. He didn’t have much interest in money markets and stocks.
September 11, 2001 – John, Will’s father had worked in the World Trade Center for the past twelve years. Standing at 1360 feet each, each tower was 110 stories, had 21, 180 windows, 104 passenger elevators and cost over 1.5 billion dollars. Around 20,000 people worked in each of the two towers. John worked on the 85th floor of the South Tower. Once in John’s office, he had to take a phone call so asked his secretary, Suzie to show Will around the place.
Everyone that Will met in the office praised his father up to the roof, telling Will what a great guy he was and that they were all very proud of him. Will thought to himself: “Proud wasn’t usually a word that came to mind when I thought about my father.” You see, John was rarely home and never had been, he was always at the office and in all of Will’s school years thus far, John had maybe made it to four of his sports games. Will was disappointed in his father.
When Suzie finished her tour they headed into John’s office and stood waiting until he finished with his call. He finally hung up and the three of them were chatting when suddenly there was a thunderous explosion and a brilliant flash of light burst outside the windows. Will jumped backwards, bumping into Suzie, almost knocking her off her feet. John sprang from his chair and jumped away from the windows. They all looked at each other and, Suzie asked: “What was that…what happened?”
“There was an explosion of some kind and it’s snowing”, Will said, pointing out the window. Unbelievably, it was snowing! Will just stared at the big, gigantic flakes but couldn’t understand why some of them were glowing red. They looked out the window and there, just above them, the entire side of the North Tower, was a gaping hole! Everyone realized then that there had been an explosion in the North Tower, almost at the top at the 90th floor. Just as they were all trying to figure out what had happened someone yelled from across the room: “It was an airplane that hit the building, it’s on CNN!” People left the windows and ran to stand in front of the big screen t.v. to watch CNN. The time the plane hit was 8:46 a.m. John, immediately ordered an evacuation from their office even though the plane had not hit their building. Quickly people packed up their desks and headed for the stairwell.
Little did John and Will know that the explosions weren’t yet over and that they would conduct an act of bravery that day while almost losing their own lives.
I don’t think any of us will ever forget September 11th. It is one of those moments in time where you’ll always remember exactly what you were doing at the exact time that happened. We All Fall Down was beautifully written and was fast-paced. I read it in one sitting, you simply won’t be able to put it down, your eyes will be glued to the page. Thank you Mr. Walters for writing such an entertaining book.