The Day the World Came to Town - Jim Defede

The Day the World Came to Town

By Jim Defede

  • Release Date: 2011-07-12
  • Genre: History
Score: 4.5
From 716 Ratings


The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway’s Smash Hit Musical Come from Away, Featuring All New Material from the Author

When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.

As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.

Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.


  • Beautiful!

    By Abbyy22
    I first heard about this book on a trip I took to Newfoundland 4 years ago. I finally decided to read it, and I’m so glad I did. The stories told are beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. Truly a wonderful reminder that kindness can change the world.
  • Very touching

    By poopie438
    This book shows just how many good people are still left in the world.
  • An inspiration

    By stephlynnlewin
    During a time when the world is falling apart this gives us all something to hold on to…
  • Thanks Jim

    By Greg Bachand
    I’ve read this many times. I blubber through it every time.
  • Wonderful story about a grim event

    By "Apps"DestroySouls
    I enjoyed the musical “Come from Away” before reading this book, and the additional wealth of stories and details here provide a fuller & richer experience. There is no silver living to 9/11 but the story of the world coming to the doorstep of this little Canadian town is the closest possible thing.
  • Not good

    By Sasa 24 2003
    Too many story lines. Super boring. Had to read for school, but I would not recommend.
  • The Day The World Came To Town

    By Patty Cathy
    Captivating and uplifting! Not at all disheartening even though it is centered around one of the most tragic days in history.
  • Lest we forget

    By Tom1381
    The events of 9/11 for the passengers of the Flights who landed in Gander were human kindness from our Canadian neighbors. The book is a page turner and eyes moist.
  • More Than The Musical

    By Rsbthree
    This book deserves an award for teaching us the true nature of human beings. The musical, “Come From Away”, does not do the book justice. You can tell the material is well-researched and that love is so much apart of the Christian “Newfies”. RSBTHREE
  • The Day the World Came to our Door

    By DonnaTNMN
    After seeing the Broadway play based on this book, Come From Away, I purchased and read this factual, heartfelt account of the people of the Gander New Foundland area and the 38 planes diverted there after 9/11. Highly recommend both the book and play. Thank you!