Teens & Terrorism
For my Huffington Post blog, I decided to interview Neesha Meminger about her representation of terrorism in teen lit. At long last, the post is up and I’d really appreciate it if you stopped by and left a comment so the HuffPo folks know these topics matter to readers of YA lit. I started writing A Wish After Midnight the summer *before* 9/11, and so the terrorist event Genna thinks about is the Oklahoma City bombing; Timothy McVeigh was executed for that in June of 2001, and Genna wonders to herself why someone would inflict so much pain and suffering on others:
Mr. Christiansen’s a really sweet man. So I just bite my tongue and listen while he talks about America being “the land of opportunity,” or “the great melting pot.” I want to ask Mr. Christiansen what happens to the folks who get left at the bottom of the pot. I’m thinking whoever’s down there probably gets burned. Not just black people, either. A while back they executed a white man for blowing up a government building in Oklahoma. I was just a kid when all that happened, but I remember seeing pictures of what the place looked like afterward. The front half of the building was gone, and you could see all the guts hanging out—wires and hunks of concrete and clouds of dust everywhere. People were screaming and holding their heads, and little babies were being carried out covered in blood. It takes a whole lot of hate to do something like that. Papi, he didn’t like America and that’s why he left. But that white man, he made a bomb and killed a hundred and sixty-eight people. And never said he was sorry. They injected him with poison and the people who watched said he died without showing any remorse. They said he looked like if he wasn’t strapped down, he’d have jumped up and done it all over again.