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Independent Reading- We all fall down by Eric Walters

By Kimberley Wong Block 1.1 March 2, 2011
by

Kimberley Wong

on 8 March 2011

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Transcript of Independent Reading- We all fall down by Eric Walters

We All Fall Down By Eric Walters Chapter One (pages 1-14)
Ring around the rosie,
a pocket full of posies,
ashes, ashes,
we all fall down.

The meaning of this well-known poem is explained in the first paragraphs of this book, as foreshadowing that something bad will happen. A normal boy named Will and his classmates have to go to work with their parents the next day to learn the ropes and experience what it is like to work in the real world. This chapter ends off with their teacher saying “All of you have a great day tomorrow. Who knows, it might be an experience that changes your life!” Chapter Two (pages 15-21)
Will and his mother have a talk about tomorrow’s events; Will is going to work with his father for the day. Will’s father works at the World Trade Centre, in the ‘middle’ of New York. Will’s mom says that his father has been looking forward to tomorrow for quite some time, and misses spending time with his son.
Chapter Three (pages 23-33)
Today is September 11, 2001. Will has arrived early in the morning in a flurry at the World Trade Centre for his day at his dad’s work place. He is introduced to all of his dad’s co-workers, and likes them quite a lot. They take the express elevator up to the observation deck and take in the beautiful scenery of New York.
Chapter Four (pages 35-48)
Will and his dad see their house from the observation deck and talk about business in other countries. Will tries to hint to his dad that he should spend more time at home by giving sarcastic answers when his dad talks about different business time zones around the world. They close their eyes and feel the building sway. Will’s father needs to get to work, so they debate whether or not to take the stairs. They end up walking the 22 floors down to his office.
Chapter Five (pages 49-61)
Will experiences some of the daily stresses that his father has to deal with when they arrive in his office in a flood of animated women trying to update Will’s father on the newest financial report. Will’s father’s assistant, Suzie, takes Will for a tour around the office. While showing him the building, she talks about how proud Will’s father is of him, and that he wishes that he could be more involved in his life. Will soon realizes how important his father is in the business world, and starts to forgive him for some of the mistakes that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for his father’s job. There was a thunderous explosion and my eyes widened as a brilliant flash of light burst outside the windows. (page 61)
Chapter Six (pages 63-75)
The events of the historic September 11th start to unfold as the people of the World Trade Center experience the horrifying view of the North Tower up in flames. Panic spreads across the faces of the people of the office as they guess what could have possibly happened. The thought that someone would deliberately crash into the North Tower sounds too crazy to be true. People turn the TV’s onto a variety of stations, all showing the same picture, as New Yorkers take in what has happened outside their windows. People are in shock and disbelief, so Will’s father orders an evacuation of his floor. Will take one last terrified look out at the window, and There, just before my eyes, two small figures, hand in hand, had leaped from a window.
Chapter Seven (pages 77-89)
When Will sees two people commit suicide, he is so shocked by what just happened that he can’t speak. Will’s father continues to tell everyone on the floor to evacuate the building; Time is of the essence. They encounter a small group of people, confused and unsure whether or not to evacuate the building. Will’s father tells them to leave immediately, and nobody objects. As they are leaving, Will’s father checks a couple of more rooms for people, and then starts walking down the stairwell… until they feel the entire building shake. The sound of smashing glass surrounded them, as a second plane hit the South Tower.
Chapter Eight (pages 91-104)
With the South tower swaying and shaking, Will and his father slowly realized what had happened. In shock, they turn on the TV and see their building hit over and over again. Will’s father takes a couple of looks at the damaged building, and soon realizes that they are above the fire, not below it. Will and his father are trapped, and have to make the hard decision whether to walk up and away from the fire, or down and into the fire, with the one hope that they could slip past the fire and down the stairs. Will’s father deliberately walks out of his office and down the stairs with nothing more than a wet tie, a whistle for his son and himself as a gas mask, a whistle, and a flashlight.
Chapter Nine (pages 105-125)
Will and his father manoeuvre their ways through the passages of the stairwell and finally find a flight of stairs that looks promising enough to walk through. As they walk, the smoke that was before, unnoticeable, became thick and stung their eyes. They encounter some concrete that has fallen from the ceiling and walls, and become even more aware of their dangerous surroundings. Fire from the floors where the plane crashed is making Will and his father’s trip down the stairs very difficult and treacherous. Slowly and carefully, they make their way through the worst of their trip. First, Will thinks that he is so deeply fatigued that he hears voices in his head, but when his father admits to hearing the same faint voices, they knew that those sounds were real.
Chapter Ten (pages 127-138)
The mysterious voice that Will and his father heard in the stairwell turned out to be from an office on that floor. They ventured in, looking for anybody trapped under fallen pieces of concrete, and soon enough, they did. Will and his father found and rescued a woman named Ting, who had badly injured her head and leg. Ting was small and light, so Will’s father effortlessly carried her down a couple of floors, until they hit a brick wall, literally.
Chapter Eleven (pages 139-149)
Will looked around for another way around the wall, and found a closed corridor, leading to another flight of stairs. Will’s father started to look tired and overworked as they found their way through the corridor, and down yet another flight of stairs. Will took over the role of carrying Ting just before his father passed out. Will and his father tried to call home yet again, but were unable to get through. Will carried Ting down 12 floors, then switched with his dad and continued down.
Chapter Twelve (pages 151-165)
As Will and his dad carried Ting down the stairs, her condition began to get worse. She was barely awake, until Will shook her. While they took a short break, Ting pulled out her wallet and showed Will and his father her own two daughters. This made Will happy that he hadn’t left her behind and bad for his own thoughts about Ting being a burden. As they kept on moving down, they heard men’s voices growing closer as they went along. The men were firefighters, trying to get up to the floors that Will and his father had just fleeing from. The firefighters asked a few questions and then continued on their journey up, as Ting, John, and Will travelled in the opposite direction.
Chapter Thirteen (pages 167-174)
Ting was starting to tire even more as time passed, but she managed to stay awake, despite her concussion. Will and John try to figure out who and why anybody would want to fly a commercial sized airplane into the World Trade Centre. On their journey, they encounter another group of firemen, but in worse condition. There’s an older looking fireman lying on the ground, almost unconscious. The others try to reassure Will and his father that everything is alright by telling them that they’re just taking a break, but Will is not easily convinced.
Chapter Fourteen (pages 175-187)
Will, John, and Ting are on floor eighteen; they’ve successfully climbed down sixty-six floors, and are nearing the lobby. As John and Will realize how close they are to making it out of the South Tower safely, they set a goal to be out of the lobby by 10:00. They get to the lobby with two minutes to spare, but Ting won’t let go of John. She doesn’t feel safe without either Will or John with her, so Will is escorted by a police officer out of the building. As Will steps outside, he looks up in shock of the building that is tumbling on top of itself, with John and Ting inside.
Chapter Fifteen (pages 189-195)
Everyone standing outside was picked up and thrown by the huge gust of wind and dust that the collapsed tower had made. Will skidded into the pavement, injuring his elbows, head, and legs. His ears heard the cry of sirens and humans mixed together, as he thought about his father and Ting being trapped in the building. Will remembers what his father had told him about the whistle. Blow the whistle, and if we get separated, I promise, I’ll find you. Will blows the whistle as hard as he can, using up every breath of air that he can manage. John finds his son, eventually, and they both run away from the tumbling building, to get to safety.
This poem is very well-known, but it's meaning is not. I think that more people should know what this simple poem means; it's not just a nursery rhyme. See the full explanation on page 4-7. I think that John is a dedicated businessman that is trapped between supporting his family financially and spending time with his family, to create happy memories together. From reading this chapter, I know that Will is not nearly as excited for this day as his dad is. I wish he would lighten up and enjoy this one special day that he can spend with his father.
You start to see the similarities between Will and his father, John, as they converse and walk together. They're both great at math and very competitive. As you can see from this chapter, Will is as normal as teenagers get. He loves playing sports and has an impromptu 'garage' band with his best friend, James. Will's boring day at the World Trade Centre starts to get more interesting as he sees two people jump off of the building, plummeting to their deaths instead of staying trapped. I don't think that I would be as strong as Will was, even if I were with someone like Will's father; always right. I think that the author, Eric Walters, captures the essence of this day very well in this chapter.
In my opinion, John seems like he has a lot of experience with situations like this, mostly because of his business-like manner. Will and John are very brave. If I were in their situation, I would need to be rescued by one of the firefighters. Me, being physically smaller, I don't think that I would've been able to carry Ting... or if I would think like John (Hero) or Will (Desperate to get out of danger). I could feel the panic that Will felt when he was going down the stairs, and suddenly, walked into a brick wall instead of yet another flight of stairs. This whole book makes me very anxious.
If I were Will, I would be thinking about the firemen for a long time after seeing them. They risk their lives everyday for people that they know nothing about, and don't get properly rewarded for it. I think that at this moment, seeing a firefighter on the ground, barely breathing, Will was thinking about that man's family and friends; How would they cope with losing him? My heart stopped when I read that the South tower had collapsed on top of John and Ting. Eric Walters is clearly, very good at writing suspense stories. I love how Eric Walters ended the story; A cliffhanger that gives you just enough information to satisfy you until the sequel. ^This is the book cover. This is the great sequel that I'm currently reading.
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