Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad since has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down.
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Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad since has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down. The only way to make amends is to face the past, starting Jesse on a journey that will reveal the truth about how her brother died.
In 2001, sixteen-year-old Alia is proud to be Muslim . . . it's being a teenager that she finds difficult. After being grounded for a stupid mistake, Alia decides to confront her father at his Manhattan office, putting her in danger she never could have imagined. When the planes collide into the Twin Towers, Alia is trapped inside one of the buildings. In the final hours, she meets a boy who will change everything for her as the flames rage around them . . .
Interweaving stories from past and present, All We Have Left brings one of the most important days in our recent history to life, showing that love and hope will always triumph.
- ISBN-13: 9781619633438
- ISBN-10: 1619633434
- Publisher: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
- Publish Date: August 2016
- Page Count: 368
- Reading Level: Ages 13-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-30
- Reviewer: Staff
The devastating events of 9/11 intertwine with the stories of Alia Susanto, a 16-year-old Muslim girl in Brooklyn, and Jesse McLaurin, a white 17-year-old who readers meet as she is spray-painting “terrorists go home” on the Islam Peace Center that is opening in her New York State town. In 2001, Alia explores her faith while dreaming of becoming a comic book author, culminating with a visit to the World Trade Center. In 2016, Jesse’s older brother, Travis, has been dead for 15 years; her family never learned why he was in one of the Twin Towers when they fell, and she feels helpless in the face of her parents’ enduring grief and anger. After the fallout from her act of vandalism, Jesse digs into what really happened to Travis, reaching some surprising and heartbreaking conclusions. Scenes of Alia and Travis attempting to escape the collapsing buildings are harrowing and realistic, highlighting bravery and courage against impossible odds. Mills (Positively Beautiful) movingly examines how easily pain can metastasize into hate, while demonstrating the power of compassion, hope, and forgiveness with equal force. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Aug.)
Carving a path after tragedy
Wendy Mills’ latest novel is a haunting story of hope amid heartbreak and hatred.
The year is 2001. Alia, a 16-year-old Muslim, is hoping to apply to a college that will help fulfill her dream of becoming a comic book artist, but her parents don’t support her choice. In a last-ditch effort to persuade her father, Alia heads to the World Trade Center North Tower, where he works. She is unaware that her life is about to change drastically, especially when she encounters Travis.
Fifteen years later, 16-year-old Jesse struggles with the hate-filled environment that has affected her family since the tragic death of her brother, Travis. Jesse’s decision to follow the wrong crowd leads not only to community service at a mosque and an eye-opening learning experience about Islam, but also to the truth about her brother.
Leading up to the 15th anniversary of the horrific events of 9/11, Mills’ compelling novel offers a stark look at disturbingly prevalent issues of religious and ethnic stereo-typing and xenophobia. The split-narrative storyline reveals that Alia and Jesse have more in common than their familial and religious beliefs seem to indicate. As their stories build and merge, Mills highlights the power of the human spirit that prevails “even in the face of incomprehensible evil”—a theme that the author hopes “the children of today and tomorrow will understand about the day the world changed.”