5 children’s books about 9/11 for your older kids

Sept. 11, 2001, is an important day in history. However, it is also not an easy subject to talk about. For some of us, it doesn’t feel like it happened that long ago. But, for others, they have no way to experience and understand the day and aftermath of the events that transpired 17 years ago. These five children’s books provide “the how” in explaining the events and emotions of such a tragic and important day. Please note that all recommended books are aimed for children 8 and older.

Nine, Ten: A September 11th Story, by Nora Raleigh Baskin

A story about four middle school-aged children in different parts of the world that have no idea how their lives are about to be profoundly impacted by one singular event. They don’t know each other. A story about a picturesque September day and the 48 hours leading up to this monumental day.

America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell, by Don Brown

This book provides real-life stories from first responders, passengers, witnesses and survivors that were all part of that fateful day. The text is direct and engaging without sensationalizing it. Vivid watercolor illustrations capture the emotion in Brown’s fourth installment of the Actual Times series.

Eleven, by Tom Rogers

A best-seller at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, “Eleven” is about Alex Douglas and his birthday. He is turning 11 on 9/11. But, according to Alex, nothing exciting ever happens to the native New Yorker. Life is pretty much (boringly) normal. It turns out maybe this birthday will be anything but normal.

Towers Falling, by Jewell Parker Rhodes

“Towers Falling” is set 15 years after the attacks. Deja has moved to a new home, new neighborhood and new school. She’s not sure she likes anything about her new situation. Her dad is still sick with the unexplained coughing and nightmares. And he gets angry when she brings up anything about the towers. Her new teacher says everyone is connected to each other and those towers. But why should she care? It’s ancient history.  

The Red Bandana, by Tom Rinaldi

Award-winning ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi tells a real-life story about a hero named Welles Crowther, also known as the man who wears the red bandana. This story follows his selfless acts that he took on that day to save nearly a dozen people in the South Tower after it was struck.

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