Children's Books about 9/11
September 11 is coming. How do we talk about this tragic day with our children?
I've shared some ideas in a blog post: Explaining 9/11 to Our Children, and I also want to share the following book recommendations.
As you read these recommended books that tell the story of 9/11, encourage your children to "look for the helpers," as Mr. Rogers once wisely advised. You'll find them in every one of these true, courageous stories.
I recommend the first four books for children ages 4-7, and the second three books for ages 7-10 due to length and content.
by Amanda Davis
This is the inspiring true story of the American flag that flew over Ground Zero, traveled across all fifty states as it was repaired by thousands of Americans, and returned to New York as a restored symbol of unity.
14 cows for america
by Carmen Agra Deedy
This tells the true story of an unexpected and heartfelt gift from the Maasai people to the United States during a time of grief and uncertainty. Emphasizes kindness and empathy in the aftermath of 9/11.
by Maira Kalman
The John J. Harvey - a former fireboat in NYC - had been retired for 6 years. But on September 11, a call came from the fire department, asking if the Harvey could battle the roaring flames. This is a fascinating true story of real life heroes.
Branches of Hope
by Ann Magee
A moving story about the Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree that survived the attacks of 9/11 and now grows tall in the 9/11 memorial as a sign of hope. There's an interesting wordless story that accompanies the story of the tree of a young girl who grows up to be a first responder like her uncle. This is a wonderful choice for young children as it only alludes to the events of 9/11 and leaves room for the parent to fill in the details.
This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth
by Sean Rubin
Another story about the Survivor Tree. This book also doesn't directly describe what happened on September 11, but alludes to it in a way that will likely prompt children to ask questions.
Escape from the Twin Towers
by Kate Messner
Ranger, a time-traveling Golden Retriever with search-and-rescue training, travels to NYC on the morning of the 9/11 attacks. This is a gentle introduction to a traumatic event and would make a wonderful read-aloud for younger children or independent read for older children.
I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001
by Lauren Tarshis
You can also read the original text without the illustrations here: I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001. Either of these choices are the perfect introduction for middle grades to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The graphic novel includes a nonfiction section at the back with facts and photos about the real-life event of 9/11.
SAVED BY THE BOATS
by Julie Gassman
Amid the chaos of 9/11, sea captains and crews raced by boat to the tragic Manhattan scene. Nearly 500,000 people on Manhattan Island were rescued that day in what would later be called the largest sea evacuation in history. This is a rarely told story of “the helpers” of 9/11.