"I hope the teacher doesn't say, 'Write an essay about your
summer vacation.' If she does, I'll leave the paper blank. Else I'll
have to lie. Say eviction is the best vacation. Hearing Ma weeping
and Pa wheezing, cracking his knuckles, while Leda sucks her thumb
double-time and Ray holds my hand."
Adults often forget that kids process incidents differently from
them--especially when they are far enough in the past that they aren't
constant conversational currency. This is especially true when the
event in question was the kind you remember where you were the rest of
your life and the kids in question weren't even born then. With no
shared frame of reference there is often quite the large gap in
understanding. Jewell Parker Rhodes' Towers Falling beautifully
underscores this concept.
After a stretch of living in their car, narrator Deja and her
family have been placed in one small room with no water, refrigerator,
or stove in a run down and not exactly safe homeless shelter. Her
mother struggles to support the family on a waitress salary. Her
father is seemingly paralyzed by disabilities she doesn't really
understand. She must take care of little Ray and Leda when she's home
from school and her mom is at work.
Her new school is in view of the former twin towers. Her class
begins a study of 9/11 as living history. For some reason her father
becomes upset that he is studying this topic. At one point he even
wants to transfer her to another school.
Towers Falling is a poignant coming of age in which a girl
learns how an event that happened before she was born irrevocably
changed the life of one of the people she loves the most.
On a personal note, the last Thursday of 2016 we got a snow storm.
Eugene was called out to plow. Joey and I woke up to find the power
out (about 100,000 people lost electricity) and the house ice cold.
We cuddled on our favorite chair near the tree with a good book until
the power came on and our home warmed up. It was our second adventure
in as many days, his attempt at Christmas tree climbing being the
A great big shout out to the feline friends and canine companions who
do so much to keep life from bring boring.
Sent from my iPod