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Love Is the Higher Lawby David Levithan
Before 9/11, Claire, Jasper, and Peter didn't know each other, though they all lived in New York City. But after the World Trade Center collapses, the entire city feels like another planet, and they together are explorers of this new, terrible world.
If someone had told me nine months ago that one of my favorite books of the year would be about the terrorist attacks of 9/11, I would have laughed in their face. Boy, was I wrong. This book is amazing! It perfectly captures that surreal feeling of the days after the tragedy. Nevertheless, the book is ultimately filled with humorous and hopeful moments.
Synopses & Reviews
First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . . .
The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents frantic calls from Korea, wondering if hes okay. Peter, a classmate of Claires, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.
Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each others in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.
David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.
"Levithan (How They Met, and Other Stories) successfully takes on the task of writing a 9/11 novel that captures the heartbreak of the events of that day through the eyes of three teenagers. Claire, in school that morning, finds herself drawn to late-night walks downtown. Her classmate Peter, waiting outside Tower Records to purchase the new Dylan album, watches the towers fall. And college student Jasper, who had previously met and planned a date with Peter, spends the day collecting papers that have blown into Brooklyn from the World Trade Center ('Something as mundane as two sheets of paper from an office file could provide the final evidence of how vulnerable we are'). Over the next weeks and months, they slowly and tentatively connect with each other, engaging in a healing process parallel to the one New York City itself experiences. Levithan renders the three distinct voices of his characters convincingly, and if some stylistic gambits (notably a 12-page paragraph conveying Peter's post-9/11 uncertainty) miss, more often than not Levithan brings genuine emotion to his portrayal of three broken teenagers helping each other heal. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The lives of three teens--Claire, Jasper, and Peter--are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.
About the Author
David Levithan is a childrens book editor in New York City. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
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