Author: Carmen Agra Deedy in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah
Illustrator: Thomas Gonzalez
Publisher: Peachtree Atlanta
In short: Kimeli Naiyomah returns home to his Maasai village from New York City, his heart still heavy about the suffering he witnesses. Under the acai tree he tells his people about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and his villagers are just as sad as he is. What they do next is a beautiful gesture of peace and healing that brings comfort to all who read this story.
My thoughts: Yes, this book is geared for 2nd - 5th graders, but the colors of the art and the simple story engages the older reader and leaves enough breathing space for the reader to really feel the emotions of this story. The last line of the last page, with the towers reflected in the child's eye - AMAZING!!! I don't mean to be shouting, but this book is a wonderful way to illustrate for young writers the power of simple prose matched with appropriate graphics. Even that blue sky in the background with the touch of darkness like the sky is falling. Beautiful. Read it. Use it. Pass it on.