On Friday, February 9, middle schoolers at Fieldston got the chance to meet the author of Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story, Nora Raleigh Baskin. We had a full Q&A with her, and it was a great experience. The middle school English department and the Tate Library hosted it, providing pizza, baked snacks, and water. Twenty-five fortunate students were able to meet Baskin and, if they desired, receive an autographed bookmark.
The questions asked mostly pertained to her early life and, of course, the book. Baskin had very enthralling answers to our questions and talked about truly personal thoughts. We learned how she had a rough childhood, losing her mom at 3½ and having an abusive stepfather. We discovered that she wanted to write about the troubles she had in her life and also about how 9/11 impacted and changed America (hence the creation of Nine, Ten). Baskin wanted to point out how, during 9/11, teachers were definitely in the most difficult situation, due to the fact that they couldn't worry about their own children. Teachers had to worry about their students. Baskin said, "I was able to go home. I was able to reach anybody." However, teachers couldn't.
Focusing more on Nine, Ten, Baskin elaborated on the fact that she never wanted to write about 9/11, but to write about how 9/11 impacted so many people. Events like 9/11, or even the Boston Marathon bombing, are things Baskin would say changed America. She recalls that after 9/11, "My life changed...overnight." When asked about why she picked the event of 9/11 instead of others, like Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, Baskin said, "I decided to pick one I remember." She wanted to use something that affected her personally, and everybody else in America. She elaborated on the fact that airport security was beefed up after the events of 9/11, signifying change. Baskin gave us a further understanding about how the world changes, and I, on behalf of Fieldston Middle, thank her for that.