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September Roses Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 26, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–Based on a factual anecdote, this book recounts the story of two sisters from South Africa who are stranded in New York in the aftermath of September 11. The women, who are flying with 2400 roses for a flower show, land right after the Twin Towers are hit. A stranger offers them a place to stay. Wanting to repay this kindness, they take their flowers to Union Square and arrange them in the shape of the fallen towers amid the many other memorials. The pen-and-ink illustrations begin in color but dramatically turn to black and white when the events of 9/11 take over. Color gently returns through the appearance of the rose and candle memorials. The spare and poetic text, small-sized format, and simple drawings give these painful days a direct and personal resonance. Because of the script font and the format, this book works best one-on-one rather than for beginning readers or group sharing. While this story will not explain what happened on 9/11 to children too young to remember it, Winter's offering captures the intensity of emotion that was felt that day and the healing human connections that soon followed.–Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. This very small book that even a child can hold in one hand is full of ineffable sorrow and sweetness. Two sisters fly to New York from South Africa with thousands of roses mearnt for a flower show. The day they fly is September 11, 2001, and after the attack they are stranded at the airport with their flowers. They are offered shelter and offer their roses in return: at Union Square, they design two fallen towers made of roses. Winter (My Baby and My Name Is Georgia) makes beautiful patterns with her figures and her roses using her signature thick black outlines. At the center of the book, when the towers are hit and the women stranded, she switches to grisaille so the exquisitely drawn images are gray. When the roses are made into the fallen towers, the colors return. In notes at the beginning and end, Winter describes where she was when the Towers were hit. The Man Who Walked between the Towers (2003) and Fireboat (2002) are more powerful, but this is understated and full of tenderness. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (September 11, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0374367361
  • ASIN: B001VNBA8Q
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,880,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Children's picture books about September 11th cover a huge range, from overly simplistic and insulting ("Fireboat" by Maira Kalman) to touching but vague salutes ("The Man Who Walked Between the Towers" by Mordecai Gerstein). "September Roses" is perhaps most remarkable because it is one of the few picture books to acknowledge the small acts of heroism that came out of a horrific unthinkable day. It's a book that remains complex and difficult to review if only because I'm still not certain what to think of it. Making 9-11 into something palatable to five-year-olds is a tricky proposition as it is. But while I may have my qualms with this book, I will concede that it's probably an okay way to introduce the subject of September 11th to one's children.

The book is based on a true story. One of the many unsung human moments that occurred during and after the days of the September attacks. It is about two sister who lived in South Africa growing commercial roses. Having entered their roses in the Agriflowers and Floritech Expo in New York City, they packed up 2,400 of the beauties for presentation. Their arrival, however, coincided with September 11th itself. With no Expo to attend and nowhere to go, the two were forced to live in the airport for a little while with their copious boxes of roses. After being taken in by members of the First United Methodist Church of Flushing, New York they decided to find some way to repay such kindness. All 2,400 roses were picked up and taken to Union Square. There, they were laid out in the shape of the twin towers, the center of New York's mourning. Says author Jeanette Winter in the end, "My tears fell on the roses".

It's a rather beautiful story, and one that Winter informs us is quite true.
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Format: Hardcover
Overall, we felt that this book was a worthwhile piece of literature. We think that this book is age appropriate for everyone, however, older students or adults may be able to make a stronger, more profound connection compared to younger students who were not alive or too young to remember this tragic event. The author does a nice job of simplifying the intense events of 9/11 into a smaller story that children can understand and follow. The author doesn't get into the specifics of naming the characters or the details of the day; she focuses more on the idea of hope. When you finish reading it, you feel that there was something positive that came out of such a sad day. The connection that we felt with the characters was related to the feeling of wanting to be able to do something versus to the characters' traits/personalities. Even something so simple as putting roses near the site allowed the characters to somehow bring some beauty to such an ugly event. This was also reinforced through the illustrations. In the beginning of the story, the pictures were vibrant and happy. After the towers fell, the illustrations took a dramatic change. The pictures were now black and white with small hints of color emerging throughout. As a reader, this brought out the emotion and mood that the author was trying to convey.
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Format: Hardcover
My Kindergartener picked this book up at the library. I didn't know what it was about and was surprised at the topic. This was a wonderful way for me to discuss the twin towers with my 6 year old. She understood what happened in the story and was sad for the people in the planes and "houses", but happy that the ladies gave all those roses. She still refers to this book, and I am happy that she has an appropriate picture for her age of this horrible event.
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Format: Hardcover
This recount of 2 sisters traveling to a flower show who end up witness to one of the greatest tragedies in American history is full of sorrow, kindness and remembrance. It is a nice way to show another perspective.I like the simple ink illustrations.
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