Just a Drop of Water
Just a Drop of Water

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Annotation: Jake and Sam are best friends, but after the attacks on September 11, their friendship is in danger of crumbling as Sam and his family succumb to hatred for being Muslim American.
Catalog Number: #124989
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: SkyHorse/Skypony
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 324 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-510-71234-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-94818-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-510-71234-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-94818-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2014015987
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
September 11th changed life both nationally and personally. On September 10th, Jake's most pressing issues are becoming captain of the middle-school track team and hanging out with his best friend, Sam Madina. But as the towers fall, Jake's life is upended. His mother becomes fearful, avoiding the Madinas, who are Muslim. A classmate bullies Sam, and Jake gets into trouble for defending his friend. Then he learns Sam's father, a banker, is being questioned by the FBI because he had dealings with one of the terrorists. What's going on? Cerra makes a common first-time-novelist mistake ot and characters devised to fit slots (e.g., a Jewish classmate's father is killed at the Pentagon, yet he remains friendly with Sam, exemplifying tolerance). But there are some terrific things here as well. Jake finds himself in a true moral quandary as he tests the limits of friendship and family, and readers will wonder what they might do in the same situation. This title, one of the few on the topic, also gives kids a feel of what life was like during those terrible, confusing days.
Horn Book
The relationship of best friends Jake, a Christian and the grandson of a war hero, and non-observant Muslim boy Sam is challenged after the tragic events of September 11. The residents of their small Florida town begin to display distrust as the FBI investigates Sam's family. This well-developed historical story deftly explores timely themes such as misunderstanding and fear-based bigotry.
School Library Journal
Gr 5&11;8&12; This historical novel takes place in Coral Springs, Florida in the days leading up to and after September 11, 2001. Jake Green struggles with the knowledge that one of the hijackers was living in his town prior to the attacks. His best friend and neighbor, Sam Medina, an Arab Muslim, is targeted by boys in their class whose actions and behavior toward persons of Arab descent is disrespectful and volatile. Sam's father is taken into FBI custody after the discovery that he serviced the hijacker at the bank he worked at prior to the attacks. Jake soon finds himself at odds with his immediate family as he defends his best friend's honor and tries to help bring Mr. Medina home. Tensions run high at Jake's house as he tries to make sense of his mother's prejudices. His interest in history and war leads him to develop a relationship with a mysterious neighbor who lived through the attack on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath. The author, a former history teacher, uses the friendship between two boys to transport middle grade readers into the highly emotional experience of a pivotal point in modern American history. Historical fact and realistic fiction elements are woven together with an expert hand, making readers care about this moment in history and giving educators an excellent book sure to spur thoughtful discussion.&12; Samantha Lumetta, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
Word Count: 62,960
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.0 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 173626 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:16.0 / quiz:Q68340
Lexile: 600L

  • A touching middle grade story about a boy trying to process the events of September 11 and how they impact his friendships
  • Jake wants to be a soldier and wants to outsmart his school’s rival cross country team
  • After September 11, Jake is torn between defending his best friend and standing with his

In this story about growing up in a difficult part of America’s history, Jake Green is introduced as a cross country runner who wants to be a soldier and am American hero when he grows up. Before he can work far towards these goals, September 11th happens, and it is discovered that one of the hijackers lives in Jake’s town. The children in Jake’s town try to process everything, but they struggle. Jake’s classmate Bobby beats up Jake’s best friend, Sam Madina, just for being an Arab Muslim. 

According to his own code of conduct, Jake wants to fight Bobby for messing with his best friend. The situation gets more complicated when Sam’s father is detained and interrogated by the FBI. Jake’s mother doubts Sam’s father’s innocence. Jake must choose between believing his parents and leaving Bobby alone or defending Sam.
Winner of the Crystal Kite Award, this beautiful story covers classic middle grade issues. What does it mean to be a good friend? How do you react to a bully? This story makes the events of September 11th even more personal for one boy and draws the readers into his life.
Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home. 

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