Every year on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, we remember the wonderful privilege we have in sharing stories of hope and re-building. We also know that many other authors, illustrators, publishers, and educators have worked hard to create resources that can aid parents, teachers, and librarians in talking to children about September 11th. So while we are thrilled to share books like Seven and a Half Tons of Steel and 14 Cows for America with everyone, we also want to point you in the right direction for whatever age group or type of book you might need. Check out our contributions to the great storytelling about the events of 9/11 and after, and the contributions of the many different people who have made it easier for kids to learn about the history of this nation.
The USS New York is big like other navy ships, and it sails like other navy ships, but there is something special about this navy ship.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, a beam from the World Trade Center Towers was given to the United States Navy. The beam was driven from New York to a foundry in Louisiana, where the seven and a half tons of steel, which had once been a beam in the World Trade Center, became a navy ship’s bow.
Powerful text from Janet Nolan is paired with stunning illustrations from New York Times best-selling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez in this inspiring story that reveals how something remarkable can emerge from a devastating event. Read the Q&A with the author and illustrator here.
Check out the teacher’s guide.
In June of 2002, a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya. An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed upon the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unexpected as it is extraordinary.A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw as these legendary Maasai warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away. Word of the gift will travel newswires around the globe, and for the heartsick American nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust and darkness as a soft light of hope—and friendship.
This New York Times best seller recounts the true story from Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah of a touching gift bestowed on the United States by a tribe of Maasai Warriors in the wake of the September 11th attacks. With the stunning paintings of Thomas Gonzalez, master storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy hits all the right notes in this elegant story of generosity that crosses boundaries, nations, and cultures. Also available in Spanish.
Check out the teacher’s guide.
Books for Children About September 11
by Carol Bainbridge
“September 11 is a date that will remain a significant and important date in American history forever. It’s hard to imagine that it will ever fade away, so there will certainly always be a need to help children understand the events of that day. One good way to help them understand is to read some books with them about those events. Books are a wonderful way to help you talk to your child about 9/11 too.”
by Michele Knott
“As we approach the 15th anniversary of 9.11, I want to share some books with you. These books are meant for our students, to help them understand a little bit more about our history.”
Michele Knott shares perhaps the most comprehensive list of books that address 9/11. With picture books, middle grade books, and young adult level books, you are sure to find something for your child or student in this thoughtful compilation.
by Eliot Schrefer, The New York Times
“In children’s literature, current events become past events at a ruthless pace. Today’s preteens weren’t even alive in 2001; for them the 9/11 attacks live in the same mental hinterland as, say, D-Day…With the 15th anniversary coming up, the latest crop of children’s books on the topic are less about processing a tragedy than about finding new ways to introduce one.”
If you are looking for middle grade level novels, Eliot Schrefer comprehensively reviews two books that should be on your list.
by Stacey Shubitz
Stacey Shubitz covers a wide variety possibilities for 9/11 tributes and remembrances with kids in school, at the library, or at home. She includes many important titles for read-alouds, but if you are looking for additional ideas to commemorate over the weekend, this is a great place to start.
Publisher’s Weekly put out this round-up of relevant titles that have come out in this year, the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. So if you are looking for something more recent, this list includes a range of age groups but all published within the year.