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Ground Zero

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  41 reviews
In time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, bestselling author Alan Gratz delivers a breathtaking, multifaceted, and resonant look at this singular event in US history -- and how it still impacts us today.
It's September 11, 2001. Brandon, a 9-year-old boy, goes to work for the day with his dad . . . at the World Trade Center in New York City. When two planes hit the towers,
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 2nd 2021 by Scholastic Press
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Megan Goodreads is a site for talking about books. The books themselves are not available on the site. Also, this book has not been released yet. It will be…moreGoodreads is a site for talking about books. The books themselves are not available on the site. Also, this book has not been released yet. It will be available on February 2.

If you don't want to buy it, I'm sure your local library will have it, but if you want to make sure, you can always contact them and request it. A lot of libraries will make sure you are first on the hold list if you are the first one to request a book before it comes out!(less)

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Average rating 4.63  · 
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Nov 17, 2020 is currently reading it
Shelves: not-released
will read literally anything by this author.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Alan Gratz’s books always hit where it hurts, in the best possible way, but Ground Zero might just be the one to have the most impact for me. I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday so the fact we are coming up on the 20th anniversary is mind blowing. This MG book will be a hit with my students & generate a bunch of conversations between them & their parents.
Brandon has to go to his father’s job who is a chef at the World Trade Center because he was suspended for the day. It’s September 11, 2
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Alan Gratz did it again. This book captivated me and I read it in a day. However, Gratz does not sugar coat the events of that day or its lasting effects for young readers. As someone who will never forget the sequence of that day, reading this pulled me back 20 years and definitely stirred up a lot of emotion.
Patti Sabik
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
As with all Gratz books, students will be submitting holds because no matter how many copies I purchase for my library I won’t have enough. This book made me tear up even though I knew the ending as I cracked the spine. It’s still brilliant!
Ms. Yingling
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

This book delivers the stories of both Brandon, a nine year old in New York City during the 9/11 attacks, and 11-year-old Reshmina, who lives in Afghanistan in the present day. Brandon has to go to work with his father, who works in Windows on the World in the World Trade Center because he got in trouble at school. He likes being with his father, but has made plans to run an errand in the underground mall when he gets a chance. This happens when there is a kitchen
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

Alan Gratz is always a pretty solid choice for my building: my students DEVOUR all of his books and most of my staff enjoy reading them as well. With that in mind, I had fairly high hopes for this book and I was not disappointed. What I did not anticipate was how much more anxiety I would have reading this book since it detailed an event in history that I can actually reme
Blakely Smith
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was a bit worried going into this one. I was worried it was going to be an "us against them" approach. But, I should've known better and trusted Gratz. He did an exceptional job at showing us that it isn't "us against them". He showed us the whole picture and the true complexity of the world and wars which I'm sure was hard to do with such a still recent event. This may be just be my new Gratz favorite. ...more
Jessica Payeur
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down! This book brought back the memory of where I was on 9/11. I love how Gratz has written about a character living the day of 9/11 and at the same time living in Afghanistan post 9/11. Both stories are told beautifully!
Trisha Perry
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In 2001 Brandon is with his dad at work after getting into trouble at school, they are in the World Trade Center on the 107th floor. During a lull Brandon sneaks of to buy his friend a new toy to replace the one that got broken in the school incident. When the tower is rocked and Brandon is seperated from his only parent and teammate.

In 2019 Reshmina has only known war. Her village sees it all first hand and her brother want to become a Taliban fighter, to avenge their dead sister who was kille
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
WOW! I'd give it 10 star if I could! Simply Utterly Amazing!! I cried so many times, I smiled and I cheered on Reshmina and Brandon. I love all his novels but I never thought one would top Refugee till today! ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win an advanced copy of Ground Zero. This is another outstanding book by Alan Gratz! I can’t wait to share it with my 5th and 6th grade readers! It’s a very important book about a difficult topic. Highly recommend!
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Two young people, two continents, two war zones, one decade apart on the same date: September 11. In this remarkable middle-grade novel, one of these two worlds belongs to Brandon Chavez, 9, visiting his dad's workplace at the Windows on the World restaurant atop World Trade Center Building One on its most fateful day. The second world, 10 years later, belongs to Reshmina, 11, trying to make sense of and the right decisions for keeping her family together and safe in fractious Afghanistan amid c ...more
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Alan Gratz turns out another outstanding contemporary history novel; he covers important topics (Refugee, Scholastic, 2017) young readers hear about through news and popular culture but might not learn about in school curricula. In Ground Zero, Gratz writes a scathing indictment of the US presence in Afghanistan, told through two parallel stories, both taking place on the same calendar day but years and worlds apart. Nine year-old Matt survives the terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Cent ...more
Amy Gourlay
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Fantastic. Superb. Powerful. Wow. I cannot think of enough superlatives to describe this wonderful historical fiction account of 9/11. The breathtaking account of what happened to nine-year-old Brandon that fateful September day woven with the story of young Afghan, Reshmina, made me unable to put it down! The similarities between the two sides of the tale connected them to each other and kept me on my toes the whole time. Like Alan Gratz, and most adults, I remember where I was on t ...more
Laura Gardner
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Out February 2. Grim, difficult, important read. I imagine this is only the first of many books about 9/11 that will come out this year, the 20th anniversary of the attack on the twin towers.
Alternates perspectives between a young nine year old boy trying to escape the North Tower on 9/11 and a young Afghani girl who rescues an American soldier in defiance of the local Taliban group. Alan Gratz doesn’t shy away from the complexity of the conflict and students who read this book will likely co
Mary Scanlon
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ARC courtesy of Edelweiss+

Brandon gets himself suspended and needs to go to work with his father. His father is an employee at Windows on the World and the fateful day is September 11, 2001. Brandon sneaks away from his father to replace a friend's toy he accidentally broke...and then the first plane hits the tower and Brandon's world is forever changed.

There is a dual timeline in this book that accounts for a day in the life of an Afghani girl named Reshmina whose family gives refuge to an inj
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There is no one who writes middle grade historical fiction like Alan Gratz. A master at chapter cliff hangers and multi-period storylines, anything Alan writes is sure to intrigue young readers, making his books very difficult to put down. While this book is being marketed for 8-12 year olds, because of the seriousness and complete devastation of the subject matter in Ground Zero, I would recommend this book for 5th-8th graders. Alan has very carefully and respectfully handled the details of 9/1 ...more
Jan 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Thanks to Edelweiss and Scholastic for the advance Kindle copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5 for this one, which has been highly anticipated by my students. It is told in alternating perspectives - Brandon, a boy living through the attacks at the World Trade Center on 9/11, and Reshmina, a girl living in present-day Afghanistan. Brandon is with his father at the World Trade Center when the planes hit; he has to fight for his life to escape. Reshmina lives in a remote village w
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is INSANE to me that we are coming up on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This MG book was incredibly powerful. It seems unreal that there are kids in school now who are learning about 9/11 in class like I learned about Pearl Harbor. I was 7 years old when 9/11 happened, and it’s still etched into my brain. I’d imagine, much like my family friend, who told me that she was 7 when Pearl Harbor happened, and remembered hearing FDR’s radio address.

I usually don’t enjoy dual timelines/narratives, bu
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It was really hard for me to read the events of what transpired in the North Tower, as I lost four good friends in that building on 9/11. On that day I was a teacher in NYC, able to see smoke from my classroom windows. One of my friends was stuck in the top part of the building, unable to escape since the stairs had been destroyed. Two were in an elevator when the plane struck, and one was in the vaporized section of the building. Gratz's scenes were true to life, as described by survivors, so I ...more
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Just finished reading Ground Zero by Alan Gratz, thank you scholastic for the advance copy. Having lived in New York while the Twin Towers while they were being built, 9/11 will always hold a special place in my heart. We must make sure that young people always remember this date, especially this year, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of 9/11! The story takes place in New York on 9/11 and in Afghanistan in 2019, both are very visual and heart wrenching. Mr. Gratz does an amazing job with det ...more
Pam  Page
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another book by Alan Gratz that you will not forget. This piece of history is one I lived through and it feels like yesterday, not 20 years ago. The book presents two stories in alternating chapters, one in 2001 and one in present day. It definitely brings back the feelings of 9/11 and the incredible tragedy many of us watched unfold on television. At the same time, looking at Afghanistan in present day is eye-opening. This book does not sugar coat the events and there are understandably some gr ...more
Thomas Devers
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ground Zero takes one back in time to 9/11 but also 2019. A great introduction for middle school readers an excellent look at that time. The book focuses on a boy who survives the fall of World Trade Tower and then ends up serving in the military in Afghanistan. Brandon (as an adult) meets Reshmina a young girl in Afghanistan. Both learn that life is not always as simple as we would like. This is a great book that we can learn from each other and grow.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus
As with other Alan Gratz books, I could not put this down. It's incredible to believe that the events of 9/11 are within the "historical fiction" category, and this book provides an important perspective of this life-changing day in time for its 20th anniversary. Teachers and librarians, you will need multiple copies.
Stacey Bene
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved Refugee and I loved this book, as well. It told the story of 9/11 from the perspective of a middle school child, along with telling the story of a modern-day Afghan girl. This was super fast-paced. Perfect for middle or high schoolers. I’m passing this along to my son, who’s in the 9th grade.
I received an ARC of Ground Zero from the publisher.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-won
I won a copy of this book.

Such an excellent read for middle schoolers. Pace is good and keeps the reader engaged. 9/11 was very well represented in the book and I can remember the day and how shocking it was.

Jumping between 9.11.2001 and 9.11.2019, we follow 2 children whose lives are suddenly upended by violence and war.
Justine Ridder
Every year I try to read a 9/11 book to not let myself forget what happened that day. I love flash back stories. I feel like Alan Gratz did a great job showcasing the horror and confusion inside the Twin Towers on that day. He also showed how this fight isn't over today in Afghanistan with the Taliban. Highly recommend. ...more
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Scholastic for the ARC!

Gratz is a master at middle grade historical fiction, especially his ability to weave character's stories together. So many great conversations students and teachers can have around this book!
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brutal but very important. Alan Gratz does history justice by not sugarcoating the horrors.
Karen Trier
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Alan Gratz is the bestselling author of a number of novels for young readers. His 2017 novel Refugee has spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, and is the winner of 14 state awards. Its other accolades include the Sydney Taylor Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Cybils Middle Grade Fiction Award, a Charlotte Huck Award Honor, and a Malka Penn Award for Human ...more

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