88 pages 2 hours read

Alan Gratz

Ground Zero

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2021

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Chapters 15-22Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 15 Summary: “A Waterfall of Flames”

On the 91st floor, Brandon and Richard do not find anyone. Outside a window, Brandon sees a person falling through the air. They go down to the 90th floor and find a man and a woman. The pair shows Brandon and Richard a group of people stuck in an elevator the way Brandon was. He urges them to get out of it, remembering the way his elevator fell all the way down after they got out. The passengers cannot get out, though, because there is blue fire blocking the elevator door. The elevator drops a few inches, and one woman decides she will risk the burns to get out. She runs through the blue flames and catches on fire. She is severely burned, and they think the flames must be from jet fuel. The man and woman outside the elevator pick up the burned woman to take her downstairs. The elevator falls and disappears, killing the people inside.

Chapter 16 Summary: “The Cedars of Afghanistan”

Taz demands that Reshmina give him back his plane. She tells him he cannot tell the Taliban about Taz because “you can’t give him refuge and take revenge on him at the same time!” (129). She tells him that the Taliban do not follow Pashtunwali anyway.