Reading Roundup: Books About 9/11

September 11, 2013 in Teaching by Anna

Five books about September 11, 2001

Finding books about 9/11 that are appropriate to read with children is difficult simply because of the subject matter. I have gathered five books about 9/11 that I think could be shared with readers ages eight and older. I give this age suggestion because of the complexity surrounding the events that took place on September 11, 2001, as well as the need for understanding some of the terms, beliefs, emotions, and images. I believe this is one of those topics when parents or teachers should really think about how they address it with young people. You could read portions of these books with younger children, catering the information to their needs. You could use these books as resources for older children researching the topic.

I believe that the only way children will learn about the events of that tragic day in our nation’s history is through storytelling. It didn’t only impact America though…it had a global effect. I think it is important to address the 9/11 terrorist attacks once each year, at the very least. It may become just another date on the calendar, marked as Patriot Day, but the driving forces behind what happened will still be brewing below the surface. Depending on the age of the children or young adults that you are speaking with, the amount of information shared and the depth of the discussion may vary. Keep in mind that if someone was in a kindergarten classroom when the terrorist attacks happened, they are now into their senior year of high school, 12 years later. Almost their entire upbringing has been post-9/11.

This list is in no particular order and does contain affiliate links.

Five Books About 9/11: The Terrorist Attack on The United States of America

America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell Series: Actual Times Series Written and Illustrated by Don Brown.

Dedicated to fifteen people that were killed that morning from his hometown, Don Brown intertwines stories as they simultaneously happened that dreadful morning. This book jumps from setting to setting, almost like the true story unfolded in real time. This nonfiction book would certainly assist children in understanding the tragic events that took place on September 11, 2001. He breaks down the astonishing numbers created during the attack on innocent people in the Author’s Notes. The book is illustrated and contains no photography.

Story of September 11, 2001

Monumental Milestones Great Events of Modern Times: The Story of September 11, 2001 by Kathleen Tracy

(This is not an affiliate link.) This five chapter book contains a timeline, glossary, and a list of resources for further reading. Each chapter is separated by an informative page educating readers on The History of The World Trade Center, The Muslim Brotherhood, The Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System or CAPPS, The Pentagon, and The Taliban. Throughout the book, there are scrapbook style photos and excerpts. The chapters cover the timeline of events that day, Osama bin Laden, the web of terrorism and its connections in history along with the security measures taken against them that morning, recognition of everyday people turned heroic, and another focusing on United Airlines Flight 93. This book is full of information and would not only serve young readers, but adult readers as well. I found it very interesting.

September 11-A primary source history

September 11: A Primary Source History by Alan Wachtel

This book contains seven chapters, an ongoing timeline, and a glossary of terms. I would suggest this book to older readers and gained a wealth of knowledge from reading the complex material presented with simplicity. Various excerpts and photographs accompany the written words. Chapters cover the timeline of that day, the confusion that ensued in and around the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, a behind-the-scenes look into our initial responses as a nation, a short history of Al-Qaeda’s relationship with the U.S.A., Pop Culture’s role in remembrance, American Pride and politcal divide after the attacks, plans moving forward, and short bios of key figures surrounding the acts of terror. (This is not an affiliate link.)


In the line of duty

In the Line of Duty: A Tribute to New York’s Finest and Bravest with Forwards by Bernard B. Kerik and Thomas Von Essen

Did you know that the NYPD is referred to as New York’s Finest? How about the FDNY as New York’s Bravest? Well, that’s who this book is dedicated to…the first responders in New York that were called to action on the morning of September 11, 2001. The publisher’s profits of this book are donated to the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. This book contains photographs from that morning, along with quotes from famous writers as well as politicians, and voices heard over radio waves and lines read in papers or on websites. (This is not an affiliate link.)


9/11: the world speaks by Lee Ielpi with Forward by Rudolph Giuliani and Preface by Tom Brokaw

The Tribute WTC Visitor Center was cofounded by Lee Ielpi and Jennifer Adams as a way to provide accurate information and education fueled by personal stories. This book is a compilation of thoughts written by people from all over the world when they left words or drawings on visitor cards at the center. The book also contains photographs, illustrations, and tile collages. The author’s royalties from the sales of this book are donated to the September 11th Families’ Association and Tribute WTC Visitor Center.

My heart was heavy and my eyes were teary as I read through these books. Even if you don’t share them with a younger person, I encourage you to read them and remind yourself of what happened to so many innocent people that morning. Remind yourself that it didn’t wrap up in one day. The search for people went on for months and the resolve for many remains ongoing today.

I bet you remember the answer to this question when asked…

Where were you on the morning of September 11, 2001?