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With Their Eyes: September 11th - The View from a High School at Ground Zero

by Annie Thoms, editor
Photographed by Ethan Moses

Published by HarperTempest / HarperCollins, 2002
228 pages
ISBN: 0-06-051806-5

Age 13 and older

Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan is located four blocks from the site of the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, many students, staff and teachers witnessed one or both of the planes flying into the Trade Center buildings. All at the school were displaced in the aftermath, evacuated in the first hours following the attacks, they joined the thousands on the chaotic trek out of Manhattan on foot. In the weeks that followed, they were shuffled to an alternate location for classes. Inspired by the work of social change playwright and performer Anna Deavere Smith, whose one-woman plays include Fire in the Mirror, which featured the voices of 26 individuals swept up in the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn in the early 1990s, Stuyvesant teacher Annie Thoms led a group of Stuyvesant students in the creation of a performance piece comprised of interviews with Stuyvestant students, teachers and staff about their experiences on September 11 and in the weeks that followed. Each student creator/peformer took on the role of several individuals at the school, using the transcribed interviews as dialogue. Each singular narrative performance is one important story of the tens of thousands of stories of how the events of September 11 have affected us all. And each is also a piece of the single story of how one particular community absorbed the impact of those terrible events. CCBC Categories: Issues in Today's World.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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