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Just a Drop of Water
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Just a Drop of Water

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  750 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Ever since he was little, Jake Green has longed to be a soldier and a hero like his grandpa, who died serving his country. Right now, though, he just wants to outsmart—and outrun—the rival cross country team, the Palmetto Bugs. But then the tragedy of September 11 happens. It’s quickly discovered that one of the hijackers lived nearby, making Jake’s Florida town an FBI hot ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Sky Pony
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Karen Dimock I would say it is appropriate for middle school students. It covers many topics that sadly continue to be current today. The book looks at 9/11 and a …moreI would say it is appropriate for middle school students. It covers many topics that sadly continue to be current today. The book looks at 9/11 and a local connection from a a 13 year old boy's point of view. I found it very interesting.(less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  750 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Katie B
Easily one of my favorite books I have read this year. This is not only an excellent middle grade book, it is just a good book in general for anyone wanting to read historical fiction about 9/11. The author managed to convey perfectly the mood and atmosphere of the nation during the days after the attacks.

Jake Green's biggest problem before September 11, 2001 was wanting to beat a member of a rival cross-country team in the next race. However, the attacks on U.S. soil change everything including
Debbie O
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just a Drop of Water, is an engaging story geared for middle grade readers. However the theme and the messages conveyed in the book span all ages. Reading this story I was inspired by Jake's struggle, his perseverance and ultimately his choices.
Cindy Rodriguez
I was able to read this ARC as a member of the Fearless Fiteeners. Kerry's debut novel allows middle schoolers to experience the events of 9/11 through the eyes of Jake Green, a character their own age. As a teacher, I think this is an ideal way to introduce students to tough subjects and moments in history. The description of the attacks on 9/11 gave me chills, and the things that happen with Jake's family and friends afterward are examples of what happened throughout the country. Kerry also "g ...more
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction
A Must Read-- no really. 

I had the good fortune of reading this book when I was in a writing workshop with the author. I also had the misfortune of witnessing 9/11 from my side of the Hudson river where we lived on that day.

I always wondered how the other part of America viewed the event and it absolutely shocked me to discover, through reading this book, that perhaps the rest of America had just as profound and visceral a reaction to the event as anyone who witnessed it up close.

America was dif
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Middle grade was going just fine until 9/11. That’s what 13 year old Jake Green thinks. And then his life turns upside down. Classmates turn on each other, his best friend’s family is being questioned by the FBI, and his mother has suddenly become someone he doesn’t know.

“Too bad there are no do-overs in real life.” No matter our age, this line is one we can all relate to. JUST A DROP OF WATER tackled 9/11 and the concept of religious discrimination with heart and honestly. Jake’s anger and con
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was an absolutely wonderful book! The story is captivating, resonated with feelings and reactions I had myself regarding 9/11, and was wonderfully entertaining as well. I fell in love with the characters and was amazed how the author captured the different moods and feelings of every age group, during that very sad time in American history. I would highly recommend this book for readers of any age.
Dorothy Decarli
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Reliving September 11, through the eyes of a 13 year old boy brings back the memories of fear, sadness, hatred, patriotism and resilience. Kids who were not alive then will be able to share this part of history with the adults in their life in a positive, thought provoking way.
Leslie Balding
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The conversation and thoughts flowed effortlessly..I was so engrossed I found myself feeling protective over the characters..wanting to right the wrongs..excellent book for people too young to remember the events of that tragic day.
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The story of two boys—one Christian, one Muslim—whose friendship is tested in the days following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A powerful, important book, and a must-read for all age levels.
Marge Keller
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good book -- good explanations. Worked well to introduce facts. Race/religious views. Both boys and girls will like it. Touching. Interesting relationship with parents. Adding Wilkey's was interesting. ...more
Nicole Cabrera
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awesome-books
Kerry, is a masterful storyteller. She'll have you sprinting for the last page. Stunningly crafted. Get your copy today. ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all time! It makes you want to keep reading it and is very unpredictable.
Ms. Yingling
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Jake doesn’t like to run cross country but loves track, and knows that his coach demands that he do cross country or he’ll be cut in the spring. He hopes to be made a team captain along with his long time best friend Sam, but a new boy and fast runner, Kirk, is made captain instead. When the Twin Towers in New York are bombed, Jake’s world is shaken. His mother, whose father was killed in a war, is nervous and upset, especially since his father had flown on business on Monday the 10th. One of th ...more
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow. It's hard to believe that a book set immediately before, during, and after September 11th, 2001 is historical fiction, but for the kids whom this book is targeted at, it is. I appreciate the perspective of the book--I think it is unique to have a book about September 11th that doesn't take place in New York and although the main character didn't have anyone close to him die in the attacks, he still feels the reverberations in his life.

Jake lives a normal life in a Florida town. He runs cro
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This historical fiction novel takes place in the days leading up to and after September 11th, 2001. Set in Coral Springs, Florida the main character, Jake Green, struggles with the knowledge that one of the hijackers was living in his town prior to the attacks. His best friend and neighbor, Sam Medina, an Arab Muslim is targeted by boys in their class whose actions and behavior towards persons of Arab descent is disrespectful and volatile.

When Sam’s father is taken into FBI custody after it is
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
The students that I will have this year (2015-2016) were born after 9/11. Often when I bring up the events or after-effects of 9/11, I've been faced with vacant stares. The students have little or no understanding of the history presented in JUST A DROP OF WATER other than the generalizations that terrorists flew into tall buildings and killed hundreds.

Kerry O'Malley Cerra has written a perfect middle-school appropriate narrative, a mix of "what ifs" that reflects a variety of ideas, emotions a
I read this book 5 years ago with my oldest and held onto our copy to eventually read with my youngest, now 13. I still feel like this is one of the best 9/11 middle school reads. My youngest told me he never really considered the magnitude of the racism and xenophobia that occurred after September 11th. Just a Drop of Water is a great way for young readers to put the years following that fateful day into social, political, and cultural context.
2015 Review:
America became a different country foll
Matt Ostrowsky
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This. Book. Was. Amazing. I'd give it 6 stars out of 5 if I could. I was hoping it'd be one for my elementary school students to read, but there are some themes and parts of the book that are pretty intense for younger readers.

I love that the main character's favorite football team is Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love. Because brotherly love is precisely what Jake Green shows throughout the story, despite his own anger and mixed emotions in the weeks following September 11, 2001. I also l
Sandra Stiles
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read three stories in the last few days about 9/11 for middle grade students. This story is by far my favorite. Jake and Sam have been best friends for years. They run cross country together. They have become friends with the new kid Kirk. His father works in Washington. When 9/11 happens their friendship will be tested. Shortly after this terrible event, Jake's mother begins to flip out. When Jake and Sam's friend Bobby turns against Sam, Jake takes revenge.The reason is simple, Sam is a ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
'Just a Drop of Water' should be on all middle school reading lists. Kerry O'Malley Cerra brings to life the sensitive topic of September 11, 2001 through the eyes, thoughts and raw passion of 13 year old Jake Green. She truly captures the real emotion and struggle of a young teenager as he strives to make sense of his world as it is suddenly turned upside down. Readers, regardless of age, can relate to the memorable characters painted for us in a realistic way. I will be using Cerra's novel to ...more
Christy H
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just a drop of water is must read!
13 year old Jake Green's struggle to understand his world in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedies is deeply moving. Jake is forced to question and rethink everything he believes to be right and just as he defends the honor of his best friend Sam (Sameed) Medina, a Muslim American.
The messages of faith, courage, hope and loyalty emerge as Jake confronts his parents, his classmates and his community in the name of Sam.
A wonderfully honest story that eve
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 15ers
A moving, complicated story that brought tears to my eyes as it depicted the events of 9/11 through the eyes of a middle school boy. The characters are believable and complicated and very human, and I was particularly struck by how the adults in the story weren't always able to cope, and how things were left unresolved--a powerful and true-to-life take on childhood and the loss of innocence. A quick, page-turning read with heartwarming characters and plot twists that kept me guessing! ...more
Naomi Agmon
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a "must read" ! Once I started I couldn't put it down. Has some great messages both for kids and for parents. Set around the events of 9/11 in a small South Florida town, it stresses the importance of acceptance of others, which is as important today as it was in 2001. I shed more than "Just a Drop of Water" while reading this!
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very factual account of the time just before and after September 11. As an educator, I hope all middle schools and upper elementary schools will use this in the classroom to help kids understand a time period that changed modern America.
Hillary Moldovan
Wonderful book! I could see using this ad a read-aloud whole class study or an advanced reading group (5th grade). Much discussion of character development and motived.
I believe the author brought an incredible time tolife, through the eyes of a young teen.
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars. This book is about so much more than 9/11, but the author covers that subject in a truly excellent way. Can't wait to share with my 8th graders! ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Just a Drop of Water is an amazing book!! I definitely recommend it to anyone. This book gives a nice message!
Reese Wilson
Oct 14, 2021 rated it did not like it
I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate this book I hate ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jake is a typical 8th grader in a small Florida town in September of 2001. His best friend is Sam Madina, and their families spend lots of time together. Jake and Sam are both runners, hoping to be team captains for the year. Everything changes, though, on 9/11. Suddenly the school bullies are attacking Sam, and Jake keeps getting into fights defending him. Even his parents betray him, his mother fearful of the Madinas, and his father not standing up to the bully’s father. Sam is pulling away, t ...more
Dec 09, 2014 added it
Jake and Sam have been friends since kindergarten, they've also been making plans to be co-captains of the cross country team since sixth grade. But when new boy, Kirk takes his spot, Jake is devastated. That is until the events of September 11th unfold. Things like cross country, end up taking a backseat, when your father is out of town and your not even sure if he is OK. Then details come out that the bombers lived in Jake's home town of Coral Springs and they even used Sam's dad's bank. Sam's ...more
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Kerry O'Malley Cerra is the author of the award-winning, middle-grade novel JUST A DROP OF WATER, which won a Florida Book Award, the Crystal Kite Award, and was named to VOYAs Top Shelf Fiction for Middle Readers' 2014 list. In addition, the book has been named a finalist for the 2015-2016 Maine Student Book Award, the 2016-2017 Truman Award (Missouri), and the 2016-2017 Magnolia Award (Mississip ...more

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