Books for Children About September 11

Helping children understand what happened

September 11 is a date that will remain a significant and important date in American history forever. It's hard to imagine that it will ever fade away, so there will certainly always be a need to help children understand the events of that day. One good way to help them understand is to read some books with them about those events. Books are a wonderful way to help you talk to your child about 9/11 too.

This book provides a chronological account of the events of September 11, starting with the hijacking of four airplanes on a clear and beautiful September morning and through the the rescue efforts and the collapse of the twin towers. Throughout the story are quotations from real people who had experienced the events first hand. The events are illustrated with watercolor drawings which help children visualize what was happening, without being vividly frightening. For those interested in more information, a bibliography is provided. Ages 6 and up

There is no escaping the horror of what happened on the morning of September 11, 2001. Nearly 3,000 people died that day at the hands of terrorists who hijacked 4 planes and turned them into weapons. That left many families grieving for loved ones and scars on the hearts of all Americans as well as many others around the world. This book tells the story of the events of that day in a clear and straightforward way and includes some pictures that show the damage done to the Twin Towers and to the Pentagon. However, while the book will help children understand what happened that day, it does so without being frightenly disturbing. Ages 8 and up

This book offers a very straightforward, factual discussion of 9/11. It opens with a series of true/false questions that will get children thinking about the events. One question is "Only a few people escaped from the World Trade Center Tower." The answer, of course, is "false." As bad as the event was, this kind of approach can help reduce some of the fear children might experience. In addition to the discussion of the 9/11 attacks, the book also mentions the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, Al Qaeda, the rescue efforts of the Coast Guard and private boat owners, the reactions of Americans after 9/11, and the later aftermath, including the death of Bin Laden. Pictures are included as well as a page listing important organizations. Ages 7 and up

While this book relates the events of 9/11 for children, it also helps them cope with the feelings of sadness and insecurity they may have as a result of these events. The story is told from the perspective of a cheerful friendly cat. It is not meant to make light of the events, but to provide messages of hope and courage. In addition to the providing accounts of the actual events, the book also focuses on reactions to the events: emotions, acts of kindness, and the courage to keep going in the face of fear. It also covers the reasons behind the attacks. Illustrations are black and white drawings. Ages 5 and up

This book offers a different approach to helping children understand the events of 9/11. It doesn't tell the chronological story of the events, but anticipates and then answers questions that children are likely to have about it. Here are just a few of the questions asked and answered:

  • What Happens When America Suffers an Attack?
  • What is the World Trade Center?
  • What is the Pentagon? Why Did the Terrorists Pick on It?
  • What is Islam? Who Are Muslims?
  • What is Terrorism? Why Does It Exist? Is it New in History?
  • What Good Can Come From this Experience?

In addition to answering these questions and others, the book provides a timeline of events, a map of terrorism, suggestions on what kids can do to help, and several activities such as a page to record thoughts and feelings, a letter to write, and questions to write down for consideration and exploration.

Ages 9 and up


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