All We Have Left by Wendy Mills is a story about two girls affected by the attacks of September 11th. Although they don’t know it, that day left its mark on them in ways that will bring them together 15 years later. Alia and Jesse’s stories are woven together through past and present, before and after. The story brings questions to surface that many had to deal with in the aftermath of 9/11.
Setting of the story is contemporary despite the fact that the events of September 11th happened 15 years ago. The story is divided into two; the now and then. The “then” is vivid. The “now” is up to date with what’s going on in the world as it pertains to racism, terror.
The two main characters are Alia and Jesse. There is tension in Alia’s family and changes that she was going through against the backdrop of a historical event. Jesse had a hard time growing up with the shadow of the death of her brother hanging over her and her family. The story is primarily about the growth of Jesse. I liked that the author showed how Jesse came out from under the shadow of the darkness from the death of her brother.
As readers we know that Alia and Jesse’s brother are connected but it takes time for Jesse to discover that. There is a mystery of why Jesse’s brother was at the Twin Towers but eventually Jesse solves the mystery. I think that the author did a great job of developing the characters to create chemistry not only with the characters within the book but with the reader. The book ends with Jesse having hope and peace.
I received this book from Bloomsbury USA Childrens and Bloomsbury USA Children’s books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.