Ground Zero

Ground Zero

by Alan Gratz (Author)

A funny, touching, against-all-odds triumph of a story, from an outstanding debut talent.

"This incredible debut tugs at your heartstrings and makes you laugh out loud in equal measure. I guarantee you'll be cheering along in the final pages!" Lisa Thompson, bestselling author of THE GOLDFISH BOY.

Billy Plimpton is an eleven-year-old boy with a big dream. He wants to be a stand-up comedian when he grows up: delivering pinpoint punch-lines and having audiences hang on his every hilarious word. A tough career for anyone, but surely impossible for Billy, who has a stammer. How will he find his voice, if his voice won't let him speak?

The idea for this story came from Helen Rutter's son, who has a stammer: she wanted to write the book that he would love to read, starring a child like him.

In Alan Gratz's gripping historical novel, "Ground Zero," readers are taken on a poignant journey through the lives of three individuals whose paths intertwine during the events of September 11th, 2001. Set against the backdrop of this tragic day, Gratz skillfully weaves together the stories of Brandon, Reshma, and Tariq, each facing unique challenges amidst the chaos and aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

Brandon, a young American boy, finds himself trapped in the wreckage of the World Trade Center, fighting for survival and clinging to the hope of being rescued. Reshma, a Pakistani immigrant, grapples with prejudice and discrimination in the aftermath of the attacks, struggling to find her place in a world that seems to have turned against her. Tariq, a young Muslim boy, witnesses the devastating events unfold from his home in Afghanistan, his heart filled with confusion and uncertainty about the future.

As the days and weeks unfold, Brandon, Reshma, and Tariq's lives continue to intersect in unexpected ways. They each embark on journeys of self-discovery, resilience, and understanding, as they navigate the complex emotions and challenges that arise in the aftermath of 9/11. Through their experiences, Gratz sheds light on the enduring human spirit, the power of empathy, and the importance of unity in the face of adversity.

"Ground Zero" is a powerful and moving exploration of the lasting impact of historical events on individual lives. With its gripping narrative and thought-provoking themes, Gratz's novel serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and strength of the human spirit in the face of tragedy.


336 pages
February 4, 2021