The first couple chapters of this book are rather intense as they describe the children being near enough to hear the explosion, feel the shudders, see and feel the chaos of falling debris and panicking people, but not yet understand what is happening. For that reason, I would suggest starting reading this book during the day when you will have time to read and discuss at least the first 3 chapters if you have small children. The reason for this recommendation is that if you read only the first 2 chapters, you will be left hanging with the suspense of whether or not one of the girls' fathers is alive. We found it to be much better for my sensitive child to read straight through chapter 3 and have some good news to stop after despite the despair described in the story.
Due to the intense start, I was unsure whether my sensitive 6 year old would handle the rest of the book well. I am glad I stuck with it and read the whole book as it had beautiful lessons about how to politely and respectfully handle difficulties in friendship and how to step out and offer compassion to others in difficult situations even when it feels awkward or uncomfortable. These books have been a great addition to our homeschool for supplemental American History and we have all learned and retained a great deal. I grew up in Minnesota and attended public school there, even studying our state for a class project and never heard of this event.
If you'd like to check out other reviews from this series, click below: