Sunday, September 1, 2013

Beslan School Hostage Tragedy

On this day in 2004, Chechnyan rebels stormed an elementary school in Beslan, Russia. It was the first day of school, and the school was filled with children and their parents. They were taken hostage for days before explosions caused the roof to collapse. At this point many people were able to escape and police were able to enter the building. More than 300 people were killed, over half of them were children.

To mark this day, we look at books about terrorism.


The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by Jim Rugg. When Jane moves to the suburbs, she thinks her life is over, but she meets three friends who form a club P.L.A.I.N.E., but can art really save a group of misfits from high school? Jennie says: I love this graphic novel about a survivor of a terrorist attack trying to bring more beauty into the world. Follow it with Janes in Love.

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris. If Janelle Tenner wants to avenge her father's death and stop the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets--and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees. n England, a beautiful, manipulative teenaged girl affiliated with a group of political anarchists seduces both seventeen-year-old Jamie and his older brother, a wounded veteran of the war in Afghanistan.


My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher. Narrated by ten year old Jamie, a stunning debut novel about the tragedy that tears apart his family after a terrorist attack, and how they rebuild their lives.

Long Live the Queen by Ellen Emerson White. The President's daughter is a victim of kidnapping by terrorists. The third in a series, start with The President's Daughter.

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert. In a near future in which terrorism is commonplace but memories of horrors witnessed can be obliterated by a pill, teens Nora, Winter, and Micah, create an underground comic to share with their classmates the experiences they want to remember.


The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klaven. High school student Charlie West awakens bloody and bruised in a concrete bunker, only to discover that he has lost a year of his life and remembers nothing about escaping from prison after being convicted of murdering his former best friend, or why he is being pursued by both the law and a group of terrorists trying to bring down the government of the United States. The first of the Homelanders series, follow it with The Long Way Home.

Black & White by Marlorie Blackman. Sephy is part of the ruling class. Callum is considered a second-class citizen. They have been friends all their lives, since before there were barriers and boundaries. Now things are different - they have to meet in secret as hate and violence seethe dangerously close to the surface of their society's fragile order. Jennie adds: the first in a series, follow it with Knife Edge.

Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci. Six teens face a bioterrorist attack on American soil as four are infected with a mysterious disease affecting their small New Jersey neighborhood and two others, both brilliant computer hackers, assist the United States Intelligence Coalition in tracking the perpetrators. Jennie adds: Follow it with Fire Will Fall.

We'll do 9/11 books later this month. What other terrorism books do you recommend?

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