Thursday, February 9, 2017

Just a Drop of Water by Kerry O'Malley Cerra

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Jake Green is struggling with every-day middle school troubles. He's annoyed that he's not the cross-country team captain, mad that a new addition to the team gets that spot, and even more angry when his old friends start welcoming the new guy who stole his spot.

Then September 11th happens, and his whole world is changed. His best friend Sam-- a Muslim American-- is suddenly distant and suspicious as the community begins to suspect his family had something to do with the attacks. Sam's mother is paranoid and moody and suddenly seems to not trust her son. Sam's father is still traveling, even in the aftermath of the attacks. And Bobby-- the school bully-- is worse than ever. He's even starting to become physically violent. How will Jake cope in a world where everything seems stacked against him?

If the reader can stick it through the build up of the first 30 or so pages, the book definitely hooks you as the events unfold. After reading the teaser, I knew the book would be about 9/11, and I think I was just anxious to get to that part in the book-- this made the beginning feel a bit slow. Though the book is slow at first, I really liked the point of view that this books shares. Jake's post-9/11 fears and anger will really strike a chord with adult readers who remember the experience, and it will do a great job informing younger readers about the true effects of that day on average American citizens. It also gives a timely warning of what happens when we allow our choices to be tainted with prejudice and unfounded fears.

 I'd give this book a 4/5 stars!

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