Helaina Hovitz was twelve years old and in middle school just blocks away when the World Trade Center was attacked. Her memoir encapsulates the journey of a girl growing up with PTSD after living through the events firsthand. After 9/11 chronicles its effects on a young girl at the outset of adolescence, following her as she spirals into addiction and rebellion, through loss, chaos, and confusion. The events and experiences that are now common knowledge to everyone were a very real part of Helaina's life and are still as vivid in her memory today. The sickening thud of falling bodies hitting cars, and the crumbling towers, her universe engulfed literally in a cloud, was all so much for a young girl to experience. Hundreds were stranded in the neighborhood, including Helaina, without phones or electricity or anyone to help. For fear of subsequent attack, not to mention the toxic substances in the air, few went outside. In the wake of 9/11, fear and despair took over her life. It would take Helaina more than a decade to overcome the PTSD-and subsequent alcohol addiction-that went misdiagnosed and mistreated for so many years. In many ways, After 9/11 is the story of a generation growing up in the aftermath of America's darkest day-and for one young woman, it is the story of a survivor who, after witnessing the end, got to make a new beginning.
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