The Day the World Changed Forever by Baptiste Bouthier (words) Heloise Chochois (art). (Europe Comics)
The new(ish) NetGalley Shelf feature has meant that I've tried a lot more graphic novels recently - they didn't render well on my eInk reader but via the Shelf feature on my tablet they've become a delight to discover.
The 11th of September 2001 has become a defining date in many lives, Gen X's JFK moment. I remember very clearly where I was on that date, although I didn't get home from work to see any of the footage on the news until well after the towers had fallen.
This graphic novel conveyed the incomprehensibility of events that day evocatively - told through the eyes of a French teenager you get to relive the feelings of the day and the way we repeatedly watched the TV reports even though we were completely overwhelmed.
The inclusion of some real biographies from the day just added to the feeling of somehow time travelling and being back in 2001 and frantically hoping for good news, and that perhaps somehow it wasn't real.
As we reach the 20th anniversary of the day that truly did change the world there's been lots of coverage of events, but somehow this has reached and touched me more than all of the documentaries and news articles that I've come across.
As I was reading it I felt the same anxiety I remember from the time, and including later terror attacks from around the world that all link back to 9/11, really do just emphasise how monumental that one day in September really was. Made all the more poignant by the shocking and shameful events in Afghanistan over the past month.
Being French there is scope for a little more partiality when talking about 9/11 but it also allows a bigger global picture, and shows how actions and events in one country quickly build and ripple right around the world.
Not a comfortable read by any means, but I feel that this is book that should be in every secondary school library.
(Apologies if this is in translation and I've failed to name them, I can't find details of this on the publisher's website.)