Just a Drop of Water

Just a Drop of Water

by Kerry O'Malley Cerra


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Winner of the Crystal Kite Award, this touching story explores what it mean to be a good friend, how you should react to a bully, and makes the events of September 11th, 2001 personal.

In this story about growing up in a difficult part of America’s history, Jake Green is introduced as a cross country runner who wants to be a soldier and an American hero when he grows up.

Before he can work far towards these goals, September 11th happens, and it is discovered that one of the hijackers lives in Jake’s town. The children in Jake’s town try to process everything, but they struggle. Jake’s classmate Bobby beats up Jake’s best friend, Sam Madina, just for being an Arab Muslim.

According to his own code of conduct, Jake wants to fight Bobby for messing with his best friend. The situation gets more complicated when Sam’s father is detained and interrogated by the FBI. Jake’s mother doubts Sam’s father’s innocence. Jake must choose between believing his parents and leaving Bobby alone or defending Sam.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510712348
Publisher: Sky Pony
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 148,998
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Kerry O’Malley Cerra is a former high school history teacher who often enhanced textbooks with historical fiction to bring time periods to life. Just a Drop of Water, her first middle grade novel, was inspired by a deeply personal reaction to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. She lives in Coral Springs, Florida.

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Just a Drop of Water 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
MelodyMaysonet More than 1 year ago
Jake is a good kid, but not too good, which makes him all the more believable. He's fiercely loyal, but also a bit of a hothead. Open-minded, but not immune to snap judgments. Kind, but not one to shy away from payback. It's that last part that gets him in trouble when--after the tragic events of September 11, 2001--he defends his best friend Sam, who happens to be Muslim.  While reading this book, I was imagining being a 13-year-old kid who can't help but see 9-11 as this devastating thing that happened a long time ago. Well, JUST A DROP OF WATER brings that tragic page of history to life--tastefully and honestly. Jake is someone to root for, and so is Sam. Their fears and ambitions are relatable, and as with all great middle-grade books, the adults in Jake's life don't have all the answers. I can imagine that middle-grade teachers will love this book for its historic value, and also for the lessons it teaches in tolerance. I know I did.
KathrynHolmes More than 1 year ago
JUST A DROP OF WATER is a middle-schooler's-eye-view of the events surrounding September 11th. As the school year starts, Jake's biggest worry is beating his cross-country rival and securing a coveted Team Captain armband. But after September 11th, everything changes. Jake lives in Florida, far from the attacks, but he feels the repercussions in a very real way. His mom becomes fearful and paranoid. His best friend, Sam, gets beaten up for being Arab-American. Sam's father is detained and questioned by the FBI. Jake struggles to determine what's right in an incredibly hard situation. He doesn't always make the right choices, but he learns a lot. His story will give today's middle-schoolers insight into a historical event that happened just before they were born and shaped the world they live in. Although the descriptions of the day itself were hard to read, as someone who remembers that day all too well, the rest of the book was a compelling page-turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just beautiful.
mcflywithcheese More than 1 year ago
I was so impressed with the way this book takes complex ideas about the paranoia and distrust and fear that emerged in American society after 9/11 and makes them remarkably accessible for a middle grade audience. This is a moving and important story certain to spur on great discussion among people of all ages.
Tori_Kelley_PhD More than 1 year ago
Jake's voice is funny and personable. The story moves along terrificly and the families are well drawn. Kerry O'Malley Cerra brought a beautiful voice to a tragic part of our nation's history. JUST A DROP OF WATER by Kerry O. Cerra is an epic story of courage, tolerance, and hope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kerry O'Malley Cerra’s novel allows young readers to experience the events of 9/11 through the eyes of Jake Green, a character their own age. As a teacher, I think this is an ideal way to introduce students to tough subjects and moments in history. The description of the attacks on 9/11 gave me chills, and the things that happen with Jake’s family and friends afterward are examples of what happened throughout the country. Kerry also “gets” middle school boy in that Jake is confident one minute and confused the next, all the while believing he is right and can fix things :.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just a Drop of Water by Kerry O’Malley Cerra I don’t know on which page it happened, but at a certain point, I was living in this book. I could see Jake and Sam. I knew where their houses were. I could feel Jake’s frustration with Bobby and his worry about Sam. Kerry O’Malley Cerra took me back to the days following 9/11, but  this time I got to experience it through Jake’s eyes. Just a Drop of Water is a riveting story. It explores what makes us afraid and how we have to face whatever it is to be the hero.  Although written for middle graders, this is a book for all ages. Highly recommended!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Authentic boy voice and story for all ages. It made me laugh, cry, and get angry; yet it filled me with hope. Not only is is great for kids who want to learn about September 11 in an authentic way, it's a wonderful read for adults who remember those days like they just happened.