As the anniversary of this tragedy nears, I haven been excited to see that several children's books are set to be published this fall that commemorate this time in our nation's history. These books can be added to those already available to young readers about 9/11. I want future generations to have an understanding of this day and what it meant to our country, how things have changed since then, and how we were once much more trusting and naive.
Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin - elementary-tween novel - this novel begins before 9/11, featuring four different characters whose lives will intersect in a few short days, when what starts as a perfect fall day, changes their lives forever.
Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes - middle grade novel - Rhodes' novel focuses on the idea of community. Set in NY, the characters in this novel weren't alive when 9/11 occurred, yet they are all still affected by it.
Eleven by Tom Rogers -middle grade novel - this story takes place on 9/11, the birthday of the boy in this book. As he rescues a dog, this boy learns many lessons on this day.
Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chickamatsu - a novel in verse - Ema is familiar with two worlds: Japan and America. She normally spends summers in California, but this year her mother is pregnant, and they decide to stay in Japan. As the events of 9/11 unfold, Ema and her mother find themselves far from the United States, watching the tragedy and mourning.
Seven and a half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan and Thomas Gonzalez - a picture book - The USS New York, a navy ship has something special: a steel beam given to it by the mayor of New York. The beam comes from the World Trade Center, showing how something good can come from utter devastation.
Saved the by the Boats: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11 by Julie Gassman - although this book recounts the tragedy of 9/11, it's focus is on the sea evacuation that occurred that day.
These books are all worth adding to your collection. I have found my students are curious to know about 9/11, and want to know what my experiences were on that day. These books will be great springboards to important conversations with young readers who want to know and understand the tragedy.