got 102 minutes?: over-wrought teen diary falls to The Toddler’s Book That Could

Yesterday, I popped into JE library and leafed through 2 more books, juvenile fiction this time.  One was September Roses by Jeanette Winter:

september roses

This is a book for toddlers.  In 40 pages, it tells a supposedly true story of 2 African women who spent lots of time in their homeland growing and preparing over 2000 roses for an important flower show in New York, only to be left stranded at LaGuardia on that day.  Some kind soul leads them to Union Square park where they garland the impromptu memorial there with their roses.

With simple, almost poetic words and short sentences, this is a commendable effort to begin explaining 9/11 to very young children.  Like Commander Adama says in the pilot of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, “Who, why, doesn’t really matter now.”  What matters is that these two foreign women donate their life’s work (so-called) to a city deep in grief, and in reading/listening to it, children are encouraged to spread garlands of generosity, that giving is the beginning of healing.  I like the pictures too.

 In contrast, I did not like Baker’s Dozen all that much:

baker’s dozen

I didn’t bother to complete this autobiography of an American teenager; I just read the 2 chapters on 9/11 and it was enough. For one thing, it didn’t have enough nuanced reflection about the event, just teenage angsty questioning and the Christianity references just irritated me to hell. But I suppose what really annoyed me was that, published in 2005, two years after the 2nd war in Iraq, the author includes in his foreword his unbending conviction in George Bush’s leadership to the extent that “I’ll give a penny to any man that says different”, or something like that.  Hello, FYI, your brothers are dying from IEDs over there, Mr “George Bush, Greatest President”.  Read the news lately?


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