Like many of us who were alive during the attacks on the USA on 9/11, I can remember exactly where I was when the first tower was struck. I was starting the morning with my first graders in my classroom. Another teacher, came to my door and told me the news. I’ll never forget that moment. And, now we continue to help our children remember that day with these September 11th books for kids.
Today is the 12th Annual August Picture Book 10 for 10 Event #pb10for10 so I thought I would share (almost) ten picture books to help us remember the events of September 11, 2001.
Books About 9/11 for Children
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30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National Flag by Amanda Davis is the story of the flag that was placed on the wreckage of the towers by workers. It became worn and tattered thus resulting in its removal and getting stored away. Years later it traveled to another rebuilding after tragedy and a new idea was stirred. The flag continued to be repaired my hands from around the USA traveling to each state. This is the story of it’s journey and to it’s final place of honor. Lots of backmatter included about the people behind the flag journey, its return to New York, the restoration process, and an author’s note. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Survivor Tree by Marcie Colleen is the story of a tree that managed to survive at the scene. It was taken away to recover and then replanted at the 9/11 Memorial. This is the story of that tree. I found the images of the book to be filled with comfort and hope. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Pair Survivor Tree by Marcie Colleen with the other new book about the tree- This Very Tree by Sean Rubin. This equally beautiful book focuses on the care of the tree after it was removed from the 9/11 site. It’s told in the voice of the tree and all that it witnessed. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
In keeping with the story of the tree we have Branches of Hope The 9/11 Survivor Tree by Ann Magee. This book focuses on the people impacted by the devastation. It talks about people healing, building, and remembering. The book is anchored with the tree surviving at the beginning and thriving at the end. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Helping young children cope with big tragic events is to focus on the helpers and heroes. Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman introduces us to a fire boat that burst onto the scene in 1931. Little did we know that many years later, it would play a role in helping to fight the fires of the 9/11 tragedy. Recommened for ages 6 and up.
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel: A Post-9/11 Story of Hope and Transformation by Janet Nolan is the story of some of the wreckage taken from the collapse of the towers and how it was used to create the ship, the USS New York. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
September Roses by Jeanette Winter is the story of two sisters who traveled from Africa for a flower show on the day the twin towers fell. A stranger offered them a place to stay and had an idea of where all the flowers the sisters had brought could go. They traveled to Union Square and layed all the flowers in the shape of the two towers. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Tragedy can impact and reach many. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy and Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah is the story of a doctor in training who was in New York during 9/11 as he returns to his village in Kenya. There he shares about the tragedy with his Maasai community and they in turn offer 14 precious cows to the United States as a blessing. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
September 11th Book List for Children
Grab a printable book list of the titles above.
I hope these books help you share this event in history with your students.
Thank you for this thoughtful list on an important day in our history. I would have thought it impossible to compile a list of age-appropriate books to broach this subject with littles – but you did it! We’re checking out “Fireboat” and “Survivor tree” this year. Also, I’m keeping this list pinned for future reference. Your efforts are certainly appreciated!
I remember that day as well. I was teaching kindergarten and had a similar experience. I remember trying to reach my husband and wondering how we could get to our children. It will likely remain one of the most vivid “Where were you when ….”moments I will be able to articulate and still feel like I am right in that moment. Thanks for sharing your collection. It is quite timely. There were several newer titles in your collection that I haven’t seen. Off to the library!
Thanks for joining the celebration again this year, Jodie.
[I have no idea why my comment is in allcaps!]
For a chapter book for younger readers, I highly recommend Kate Messner’s “Ranger in Time: Escape From the Twin Towers.” Very sensitively done. Helped me have conversations with my 2nd grader on the anniversary last year.
Lisa Maucione says
I’ve recently read 30,000 stitches and This Very Tree. the stories in the books were new to me. I think both would interest students.