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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
With Christmas just around the corner, A Christmas Miracle at Ground Zero by Judith M. Ackerman should be on many people’s lists as a gift for children, not only in New York City but across the nation. This fantastically illustrated book is about a family of mice that lived in the underbelly of pipes and beams of the Twin Towers. Surviving the towers’ crash, the family watches entranced during the days of rescuers and workers who came and went among the devastation. Ms. Ackerman gives a brief history of the attack and its tragic aftermath as the mice watch. Suddenly work stops and laborers fall to their knees around a crossed beam exactly like the Christian symbol of salvation. Day by day toward winter, the mouse family observes as many come there amid the rubble to pray at the crossed beams. And with Christmas approaching, the mice want to do something to help, and they contemplate what they, as tiny creatures, might do.
I will not divulge what plan the mice come up with except to say it’s really wonderful. In her short preface, Ms. Ackerman declares her exquisitely illustrated children’s tale to be “a story of hope and healing,” and she dedicates it to all those still suffering from the September 11, 2001 attack. After reading this beautifully written piece, I wiped the tears from my eye and searched for information about what has come to be called the Ground Zero Cross, which now has a gripping history of its own survival. Due to the dedication of a worker/rescuer named Frank Silecchia, who discovered it in the rubble, the cross has been preserved. Despite some court controversy, it is now part of the National September 11 Museum. A Christmas Miracle at Ground Zero by Judith M. Ackerman should be on the top of everyone’s holiday gift list for children.