Picture Books About Sept 11

Picture Books About Sept 11

Picture Books About Sept 11

There are some things that are hard to bring up with your children.  Sept 11 is one of them.  We don't watch much broadcast TV in our house, so my kids didn't grow up watching the news.  They will not hear about Sept 11 unless I bring it up to them or one of their teachers brings it up at school.  How do you bring up sensitive topics that you do want to talk to your kids about?

The answer for this bookworm? Books, of course. (Just as I brought in books for the dreaded birds and the bees talk too--which I have every day with other people's kids but it's different when it's your own!)

Sept 12th: We Knew Everything Would be All Right by first grade students of H.Byron Masterson Elementary in Kennett, Missouri

I love the idea of this book--I love that it was written and illustrated by first graders and that it was a collaboration between all of the students.  I also love that it was published in 2002--meaning that it must have been written in the immediate aftermath of one of our country's greatest tragedies. However, I admit, even with the message of hope and unity and resilience, I just kept thinking, but what about those kids who didn't have their teacher greet them on Sept 12?  What about those kids whose teacher/mom/dad/friend didn't make it to live to Sept 12?  What about them? 

I know, I know, it's the cynic in me.  And if I look at the story overall, for what it is, it is a great way to teach kids about Sept 11, or Sandy Hook, or any big tragedy.  I admit that I debated whether to show this book grouping to Mini Me Bookworm or Little Lion Bookworm.  But, I think, it's important for them to learn about Sept 11. 

(BTW, September 12th is out of print and very expensive.  I'd look for it at a library.)


Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman

The pictures are lovely in Fireboat and the main premise of the story is how the John J. Harvey was able to help out the citizens of New York on Sept 11.  The focus is more on the fireboat and its history and how it was able to be put to good use.  The underlying story is the heart of the overall community in New York and how the American people came together as a whole to help each other in the aftermath.  If you're looking for more of the history of Sept 11, however, this isn't the right book for it. 


The Man in the Red Bandana by Honor Crowther Fagan (This book can be read for free with a Kindle unlimited subscription.)

When I first spotted this book, I was excited.  Until I realized what was going to happen.  It is a lovely tribute to a hero by Welles Crowther's sister and it supports the foundation in his name.  I remember all the lost people notices that were hung up in the aftermath of Sept 11.  I also have had an experience of almost losing someone I love dearly this year in a tragic accident (though not an act of terrorism and not in such a large scale, but loss of life is loss of life).  I can't imagine how this mom must have felt when she realized that her son lost his life while he was saving MANY other people. Overall, I think it is a great way to personalize the story of Sept 11 while learning about what happened. And, it kind of makes me want to carry a bandana around too.

Please note that there is also a new nonfiction book about Welles Crowther that came out this month called Red Bandana: A Life, A Choice, A Legacy written by Tom Rinaldi. 

To those of you who lost someone you love on Sept 11, I am thinking of you today.  Thank you to all the firefighters, police, military and civilians who were heroes that day and every day.  And thank you to the countless medical professionals in New York who stood ready to help, even when the patients did not come in as predicted or hoped. 

Other books (with summaries):

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein:

The story of a daring tightrope walk between skyscrapers, as seen in Robert Zemeckis' The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

In 1974, French aerialist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks a quarter mile in the sky. This picture book captures the poetry and magic of the event with a poetry of its own: lyrical words and lovely paintings that present the detail, daring, and--in two dramatic foldout spreads-- the vertiginous drama of Petit's feat.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is the winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal, the winner of the 2004 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Picture Books, and the winner of the 2006 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video.

(Please note that even though it doesn't sound like it from the summary, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers does address the events that happened on Sept 11, 2001.)

Saved By the Boats: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11 written by Julie Gassman and illustrated by Steve Moors:  September 11, 2001 was a black day in U.S. history. Amid the chaos, sea captains and crews raced by boat to the tragic Manhattan scene. Nearly 500,000 people on Manhattan Island were rescued that day in what would later be called the largest sea evacuation in history. In this rarely told story of heroism, we come to understand that in our darkest hours, people shine brightly as a beacon of hope.

September Roses by Jeanette Winter:

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.

I Survived the Attacks on September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis

On the day that shocks the world, one boy just wants to find his family. A powerful addition to the gripping I SURVIVED series.

The only thing Lucas loves more than football is his Uncle Benny, his dad's best friend at the fire department where they both work. Benny taught Lucas everything about football. So when Lucas's parents decide the sport is too dangerous and he needs to quit, Lucas has to talk to his biggest fan.

So the next morning, Lucas takes the train to the city instead of the bus to school. It's a bright, beautiful day in New York. But just as Lucas arrives at his uncle's firehouse, everything changes -- and nothing will ever be the same again.

America is Under Attack: September 22, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell by Don Brown

One of School Library Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of 2011One of Horn Book's Best Nonfiction Books of 2011

On the ten year anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, a straightforward and sensitive book for a generation of readers too young to remember that terrible day.

The events of September 11, 2001 changed the world forever. In the fourth installment of the Actual Times series, Don Brown narrates the events of the day in a way that is both accessible and understandable for young readers. Straightforward and honest, this account moves chronologically through the morning, from the terrorist plane hijackings to the crashes at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania; from the rescue operations at the WTC site in New York City to the collapse of the buildings. Vivid watercolor illustrations capture the emotion and pathos of the tragedy making this an important book about an unforgettable day in American history.


The Hueys in What’s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers

The Hueys in What’s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers

Post-High School

Post-High School