September 11 in Children’s Books

It has been ten years since September 11, 2001 but many American schoolchildren have no memories of the events of that day. We have put together a list of nonfiction books for children of all ages, and fiction, poetry, and graphic novels for older readers that discuss the terrorist attacks and their effect on American life and culture over the last decade.

To find additional resources on September 11 for young people, use the terms “September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001” and “juvenile literature” or “juvenile fiction” when searching the catalog. There are related materials in “terrorism” and “Middle East” for young readers as well (search with the terms “juvenile literature” or “juvenile fiction” to limit your results to children’s materials).

The call number for September 11 Terrorist Attacks is S.973.931, which you can use to browse the S-Collection for additional informational resources.


Ages 4-8

Brown, Don.
America Is Under Attack. 2011.
Straightforward and honest, this account moves chronologically through the morning of September 11, 2001. Vivid watercolor illustrations capture the emotion and pathos of the tragedy for a generation of readers too young to remember these events.
[Education S Collection S.973.931 B812am]

Curtiss, A. B. and Mirto Golino.
The Little Chapel That Stood. 2003.
This beautifully illustrated book tells of the historic chapel less than 100 yards from the Twin Towers that miraculously survived on 9/11.
[Education S-Collection S.363.320973 An29t]

Deedy, Carmen Agra.
14 Cows for America. 2009.
Maasai tribal members, after hearing the story of the September 11th attacks from a young Masaai, who was in New York on that day, decide to present the American people with fourteen sacred cows as a healing gift.
[Education S Collection Q. S.327.676073 D36f]

Kalman, Maira.
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey. 2002.
A fireboat, launched in 1931, is retired after many years of fighting fires along the Hudson River, but is saved from being scrapped and then called into service again on September 11, 2001.
[Education S Collection S.974.71044 K126f]
Ages 9-12

ABDO Publishing Company.
War on Terrorism (Series). 2002.
This series contains 11 books on topics related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks such as Ground Zero, Weapons of War, Osama Bin Laden, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
[Education S Collection and Education Storage S.973.931]

Greene, Jacqueline Dembar.
The 2001 World Trade Center Attack. 2007.
This book profiles the tragedy through the harrowing stories of those who survived the attack. Candid, on-the-scene photos and quotes from primary sources reveal terrifying first-person accounts of the day’s tragic events.
[Education S Collection S.974.71044 G833t]

January, Brendan.
September 11, 2001. 2003.
Revisit the day the world changed: September 11, 2001. Discover what it was like to see the twin towers crumble against the New York skyline. Find out how it felt to be a firefighter called to action when the Pentagon was hit. Read Afghan-American Mir Tamim Ansary’s e-mail, and hear how it changed the view of Americans all over the United States.
[Education Storage S.973.931 J268s]

Pierce, Alan.
September 11, 2001. 2005.
This book describes the causes, and events that led to the September 11 terrorist attacks and includes primary source documents, color photographs, diagrams, maps, and a timeline.
[Education S Collection S.973.931 P611s]
Ages 12+

Anderson, Dale.
The Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. 2004.
This book explains the background to those attacks by exploring the relationship between the United States and the Middle East as well as the development of an international terrorist network. It gives an in-depth account of the attacks and looks at the response within the United States and subsequent developments around the world.
[Education Storage S.973.931 An233t]

Frank, Mitch.
Understanding September 11th. 2002.
On September 11th, America was attacked. But while we know what happened on that tragic day, many of us don’t understand why it happened. Filled with pictures, maps, and straightforward explanations, this is the book that will enable young people to understand both the events of 9/11 and the history leading up to it.
[Education S Collection S.973.931 F851u]

Hampton, Wilborn.
September 11, 2001: An Attack on New York City. 2003.
Wilborn Hampton captures an unprecedented piece of history through interviews and accounts of survivors, heroes, and terrorists. In addition, the seasoned reporter tells his own story, thus bringing to readers the grieving, compassionate voice of a fellow New Yorker who was close to Ground Zero. Amplifying the narrative are fifty-four black-and-white photographs, indelible images of horror and heroism unfolding.
[Education Storage S.974.71044 H189s]

Stewart, Gail B.
America Under Attack: September 11, 2001. 2002.
The attacks that horrified the United States prompted a variety of responses — from heroic rescues from the World Trade towers and the Pentagon to a courageous attempt by passengers to fight back against their hijackers. This book details the shortcomings of U.S. intelligence and security, the ways such weaknesses are being strengthened, and the varied effects among Americans since September 11.
[Uni High 973.931 St493a]
Fiction, Poetry, and Graphic Novels (Ages 14+)

Castellucci, Cecil.
Plain Janes. 2007.
When transfer student Jane is forced to move after a terrorist attack from the confines of Metro City to Suburbia, she thinks her life is over. But there in the lunch room at the reject table she finds her tribe: three other girls named Jane. Main Jane encourages them to form a secret art gang and paint the town P.L.A.I.N. – People Loving Art In Neighborhoods.
[Undergrad 741.5973 C277p]

Chin, Oliver Clyde.
9 of 1: A Window to the World. 2003.
Set during the confusion following the terrorist attacks of September 11, the story begins when a history teacher asks his students to write a report based on an interview with someone who has a different viewpoint from their own. As they fan out into the community and encounter people of diverse backgrounds, opinions, and prejudices, the teens quickly realize that the story cannot be reduced to simple dichotomies of good versus evil or us versus them.
[Main Stacks 813 C44123n]

Foer, Jonathan Safran.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. 2005.
Oskar Schell is nine years old and he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way.
[Undergrad 813 F684ex]

Friedman, D. Dina.
Playing Dad’s Song. 2006.
It’s been two years since Gus’s father was killed in the World Trade Center, and Gus can’t figure out how to move on. His mother thinks he needs to do something – anything – so she rents him an oboe and signs him up for lessons with her boss’s elderly father, Mr. M. As Gus”s friendship with Mr. M. develops, so does his passion for classical music, and soon he decides to compose a song of his own, a tribute to his father. But even if Gus can find a way to wrap up his father’s life in a single song, will he ever find the courage to play it?
[Education Storage S. F914p]

Herrera, Juan Felipe.
Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. 2005.
Yolanda, a Puerto Rican girl, tries to come to terms with her painful past as she waits to see if her uncle recovers from injuries he suffered when the towers collapsed on September 11, 2001.
[Center for Children’s Books S. H433ci]

Hoffman, Alice.
Green Angel. 2003.
Haunted by grief and by her past after losing her family in a fire that mirrors the events of September 11, 2001, fifteen-year-old Green retreats into her ruined garden as she struggles to survive emotionally and physically on her own.
[Education Storage S.H6751g]

Levithan, David.
Love is the Higher Law. 2009.
Three New York City teens express their reactions to the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and its impact on their lives and the world.
[Education S Collection S. L579l]

Lewis, Richard.
The Flame Tree. 2004.
Just before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, an anti-American Muslim group gains power in Java, and Isaac, the twelve-year-old son of American missionary doctors, finds his world turned upside-down.
[Center for Children’s Books S. L588f]

Maynard, Joyce.
The Usual Rules. 2003.
Through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Wendy, we gain entrance to the world rarely shown by those who documented the events of that one terrible day: a family’s slow and terrible realization that Wendy’s mother has died, and their struggle to go on with their lives in the face of crushing loss. Wendy moves to California to live with her long-absent father and tries to come to terms with her mother’s death while missing her friends and family back in Brooklyn.
[Education Storage S.M454us]

Meminger, Neesha.
Shine, Coconut Moon. 2009.
Samar is an Indian-American teenager whose mother has kept her away from her old-fashioned family. It’s never been a problem for Sam, until after 9/11. A man in a turban shows up at Sam’s house and turns out to be her uncle, who wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage.
[Center for Children’s Books S. M513s]

Nye, Naomi Shihab.
19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East. 2002.
This anthology compiles Naomi Shihab Nye’s poems about the Middle East in one volume, including poetry about Arab-American experience after September 11, 2001.
[Education S Collection S.811 N984n]

Prose, Francine.
Bullyville. 2007.
After the death of his estranged father in the World Trade Center on 9/11, thirteen-year-old Bart, still struggling with his feelings of guilt, sorrow and loss, wins a scholarship to the local preparatory school and there encounters a vicious bully whose cruelty compounds the aftermath of the tragedy.
[Center for Children’s Books S. P9452b]

Stine, Catherine.
Refugees. 2005.
Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Dawn, a sixteen-year-old runaway from San Francisco, connects by phone and email with Johar, a gentle, fifteen-year-old Afghani who assists Dawn’s foster mother, a doctor, at a Red Cross refugee camp in Peshawar.
[Education Storage S. St56r]