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September 11, 2001: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about September 11, 2001?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to September 11, 2001. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about September 11, 2001.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about September 11, 2001, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001 to popular sellers like Towers Falling to some of our favorite hidden gems like Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey.

We hope this list of kids books about September 11, 2001 can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey
Written & illustrated by Maira Kalman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The John J. Harvey fireboat was the largest, fastest, shiniest fireboatof its time, but by 1995, the city didn’t need old fireboats anymore. So the Harvey retired, until a group of friends decided to save it from the scrap heap. Then, one sunny September day in 2001, something so horrible happened that the whole world shook. And a call came from the fire department, asking if the Harvey could battle the roaring flames. In this inspiring true story, Maira Kalman brings a New York City icon to life and proves that old heroes never die.

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The Places We Sleep
Written & illustrated by Caroline DuBois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A family divided, a country going to war, and a girl desperate to feel at home converge in this stunning novel in verse.

It’s early September 2001, and twelve-year-old Abbey is the new kid at school. Again.

I worry about people speaking to me / and worry just the same / when they don’t.

Tennessee is her family’s latest stop in a series of moves due to her dad’s work in the Army, but this one might be different. Her school is far from Base, and for the first time, Abbey has found a real friend: loyal, courageous, athletic Camille.

And then it’s September 11. The country is under attack, and Abbey’s “home” looks like it might fall apart. America has changed overnight.

How are we supposed / to keep this up / with the world / crumbling / around us?

Abbey’s body changes, too, while her classmates argue and her family falters. Like everyone around her, she tries to make sense of her own experience as a part of the country’s collective pain. With her mother grieving and her father prepping for active duty, Abbey must learn to cope on her own.

Written in gorgeous narrative verse, Abbey’s coming-of-age story accessibly portrays the military family experience during a tumultuous period in our history. At once personal and universal, it’s a perfect read for fans of sensitive, tender-hearted books like The Thing About Jellyfish.

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Eleven
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

Alex Douglas always wanted to be a hero. But nothing heroic ever happened to Alex. Nothing, that is, until his eleventh birthday. When Alex rescues a stray dog as a birthday gift to himself, he doesn't think his life can get much better. Radar, his new dog, pretty much feels the same way. But this day has bigger things in store for both of them. This is a story about bullies and heroes. About tragedy and hope. About enemies with two legs and friends with four, and pesky little sisters and cranky old men, and an unexpected lesson in kindness delivered with a slice of pizza. This is Eleven: the journey of a boy turning eleven on 9/11.

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14 Cows for America
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

A New York Times Best Seller

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I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
On the day that shocks the world, one boy just wants to find his family. A powerful addition to the gripping I Survived series.
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  • The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story - Through evocative prose and watercolor illustrations, The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story takes the reader on a journey of hope and healing that parallels our nation's own journey following the events of September 11, 2001.

  • Seven and a Half Tons of Steel - 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.<br>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.<br>Powerful text from Janet Nolan is paired with stunning illustrations from New York Times best-selling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez (14 Cows for America) in this inspiring story that reveals how something remarkable can emerge from a devastating event.

  • Towers Falling - From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks in a classroom of students who cannot remember the event but live through the aftermath of its cultural shift.

  • Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story - From the critically acclaimed author of <i>Anything But Typical </i>comes a touching look at the days leading up to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and how that day impacted the lives of four middle schoolers. <p/>Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day–until a plane struck the World Trade Center. <p/>But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves. Will’s father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling. Naheed has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she’s getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears. Aimee is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business. <p/>These four don’t know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined. Award-winning author Nora Raleigh Baskin weaves together their stories into an unforgettable novel about that seemingly perfect September day–the day our world changed forever.

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September Roses
Written & illustrated by Jeanette Winter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

A tribute to the memory of September 11

On September 11, 2001, two sisters from South Africa are flying to New York City with 2,400 roses to be displayed at a flower show. As their plane approaches the airport, a cloud of black smoke billows over the Manhattan skyline. When they land, they learn of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. All flights are canceled; the sisters cannot go home, and they are stranded with boxes and boxes of roses.

In the days that followed September 11, Jeanette Winter was drawn to Union Square and saw, among the hundreds of memorial offerings, twin towers made of roses. In the pages of this small and vibrant book, she tells a moving story.

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