Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Claire, Jasper and Peter tell, in alternating voices, what it was like to be a teenager in New York City on September 11, 2001. Jasper and Peter were to have had their very first date that night - they had planned to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Claire and Peter were in their final year at the same high school, 30 blocks north of the World Trade Center. I enjoyed witnessing the slow development of friendship between the three of them.

Other books, like the graphic novel memoir American Widow, tell of the emotional devastation of losing a loved one when the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed. In Love Is the Higher Law, the tragedy of 9/11 is just as real, but with a loss that is perhaps harder to define. None of the three teens knew anyone who had died in the attack, but they all suffered a trauma that went much deeper than a gap in the skyline. Their road to healing is shared in their friendship.

Twin blue lights were beamed upward from Ground Zero on March 11, 2002. It was in the novel that I first read about the anniversary lights. Afterwards, the cover photo on the edition I read, taken across the water from Manhattan at night, with the blue lights representing ghostly towers, had a much greater impact on me. Grade 9 - up.

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