On January 7, 2015, two Islamic radicals attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine in Paris. Twelve people were killed. French police went on nationwide alert. Schools throughout the city went into lockdown.
This terrorist incident came in the long wake of September 11, 2001, when another group of Islamic radicals hijacked airplanes and flew them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon Building in Arlington, Virginia.
“Books and Bombs” documents events in the aftermath of September 11, as they unfolded 3,657 miles away in Waterloo, Belgium. Just as the Paris massacre sent shock waves around the globe, the terror attacks in the United States had worldwide ramifications. Reaction on the campus of St. John’s International School touched every corner of its diverse learning community. Multiple nationalities, ethnicities, and faith traditions were all dramatically affected by events that occurred six time zones away.