88 pages 2 hours read

Alan Gratz

Ground Zero

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2021

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Chapters 23-30Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 23 Summary: “Last Call”

Another plane has not hit the building, but an elevator full of people crashed, killing them. Brandon and Richard start down the stairs again, but it is very crowded and they are barely able to descend. Richard distracts Brandon by talking to him about skateboarding. Once they reach the 20th floor, they decide to try another stairwell. Brandon sees that the phones are working, so he calls his dad while Richard calls his own family. They see a man falling outside the window. Brandon’s dad tells him that there is too much smoke on the 107th floor so no helicopter can land to save them. The fire is spreading, and the smoke is making it hard to breathe. Brandon starts to cry, knowing that his dad will not survive. His dad tells him to “do something with your life” and “do something worth living for” (185). Brandon tells him he cannot survive on his own, but his dad assures him he can. His dad asks to speak to Richard. Richard assures him he will keep Brandon safe. Brandon’s dad tells Brandon that he loves him and is proud of him. The line goes dead.