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Publisher's Summary

September 11, 2001, New York City: Brandon is visiting his dad at work, on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center. Out of nowhere, an airplane slams into the tower, creating a fiery nightmare of terror and confusion. And Brandon is in the middle of it all. Can he survive - and escape? 

September 11, 2020, Afghanistan: Reshmina has grown up in the shadow of war, but she dreams of peace and progress. When a battle erupts in her village, Reshmina stumbles upon a wounded American soldier named Taz. Should she help Taz - and put herself and her family in mortal danger? 

Two kids. One devastating day. Nothing will ever be the same.

©2021 Alan Gratz (P)2021 Scholastic Inc.

Featured Article: In the Oral Histories of 9/11, Grief, Hope, and Heroism Find a Voice


Memories passed down through storytelling have been a vital part of culture since the dawn of civilization, and we've all had moments of pained reminiscence: Where were you on that day? There are few accounts more powerful than audio recollections of the lived histories of 9/11—their words, their voices, their stories all ensure we will never forget, that the passage of time will never erode the memory of those loved, lost, and left behind.

What listeners say about Ground Zero

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Fantastic!

I LOVE Alan Gratz's work. I've read several of his books and look forward to reading the rest. Having a husband who is a firefighter made listening to this story difficult, even almost 20 years later. Even so, Alan did an excellent job tying together the two lives and helping the reader/listener to get a better understanding of how folks, on both sides of the story, feel. I highly recommend this one!

With this said...I was not excited about the male narrator. Many times he lowered his voice and I had to strain to hear what he was saying. I wish he wasn't so quiet. I had to go back and skim those chapters to make sure I didn't miss anything. Hopefully someone will read this and fix it so that you can hear it better. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful story!

3 people found this helpful

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great story, but read this book yourself

story was really good but the narrators seemed flat. I feel like they could've shown more expression about such dramatic events. Wish I would've read the book vs listened to it.

3 people found this helpful

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Well written

This is a riveting story told from two points of view that finally converge. If I were still teaching 6th or 7th grade reading, this author would be one I could recommend to certain students. His books are historical in nature, but written so a young person can understand and appreciate them. Mr. Gatz’s books can fill a much needed gap in literature for young people, and can help them develop a love for reading. And not just for young people. Anyone of any age can learn from this book and others by this author.

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Best book ever

This book is incredibly good. I have never read a book that has had more history in it but also entertaining. This book is a great way to teach the new generations the true story behind 9/11!

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Absolutely recommend!

Couldnt put it down! Great for teens learning perspective in history, and it offers lots of opportunity to study maps, culture, and the complexities of war.

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great storytelling, bland writing

The storytelling was great, but the writing had no prose. Most 5th graders will probably like this one.

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Anti-American, Leftist Propaganda

How sad it is that Alan Gratz uses this factually incorrect novel to spread the idea that America is a bad, evil place (“Maybe we [America] are the bullies”). This book is an insult to our country, the military that defends us and sadly, the 3,000 that died in the tragic 911 terrorist attack. Disgraceful!

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Male narrator too hard to understand

My biggest annoyance with this book was that the narrator for the character Brandon was way too low and whispered, that it was incredibly challenging to hear. For all those chapters, I really had to crank up the volume and turn my ear to the speaker.

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Phenomenal!!

What a phenomenal story. A story that has taken a true tragic event, and placed a fictional story within!! This book should seriously become required reading in Schools. It would serve many purposes for both English and American History. Only thing i disliked was that it ended quickly. The Brandon chapter titled “the call” was absolutely heartbreaking. As someone who was a senior in HS during 9/11, every event and memory came rushing back over every event in the timeline of that day. I will definitely recommend this book to everyone!

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Amazing

This book is amazing, you should definitely give it a try, it’s definetely worth it
😀😀😀