Books of Hope for Children About September 11

Trying to understand the events of September 11 can be difficult for adults, but it's even more difficult for children, especially children who are emotionally sensitive. They can become fearful and even depressed.  It is very important to talk to your child about 9/11, but sometimes parents don't know what to say or how to make their children feel better. These are some books that can help children feel maintain a sense of hope and even pride when as they learn about 9/11.

1
I Was Born On 9/11

I Was Born On 9/11
I Was Born On 9/11. Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
As hard as it may be for children to understand the significance of September 11, it must be even more difficult for those children whose birthday falls on that day. They are too young to remember what happened that day and while they are celebrating their birthday, they must notice that for others it is a day of somber remembrance. Through rhyme and colorful illustrations, this book helps the reader understand what happened that day and how people came together. Children learn how people that day and after learned about the values of America and gain a sense of patriotism and respect for all those who sacrificed their lives on 9/11 to keep our country safe and those who continue to sacrifice for us. Rather than feeling that a 9/11 birthday is some kind of curse, children can feel good about being born on this date.

2
September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right

September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right
September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right. Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
This book offers something that most books about 9/11 do not offer - the perspective of first graders. We get that perspective because the book was written by first graders. Each page in the book provides one more reason that on 9/12 we knew everything would be all right: the sun came up, 2+2 still equaled 4. While no American alive today will ever imagine that the events of September 11 did not affect each and every one of us and change the world, it is still comforting for children to know that the universe did not turn upside down, and that we can find some degree of comfort in the constants of life. The book is also illustrated by first graders. Ages 4 and up

3
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey. Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
The John J. Harvey is the name of a fireboat built in 1931. The book tells the story of this boat, describing the the events in 1931 to help put it into perspective: the construction of the Empire, the 611th home run hit by Babe Ruth, the invention of the Snickers candy bar -- and the launching of the John J. Harvey. By the end of the 20th century, in 1995, the boat is forced into retirement, but a small group of friends decide to save it from the scrap heap. They work to restore the boat and on September 11, the boat is once again called into service to help put out the fires caused by the attacks on the Twin Towers. What a wonderful story of history and hope! While the story does tell the story of 9/11, its primary focus is on the heroes of the day, not the tragedy. It is quite a tribute to firefighters, not just in NYC, but everywhere. The illustrations can be a bit vivid, so it's a good idea for parents to take a look at them before sharing the book with their children. Ages 4 and up

4
September Roses

September Roses
September Roses. Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
This book is based on a true story. It is the story of two sisters who were on their way from South Africa with 2,400 roses they planned to display at a flower show. As their plane approached New York, they could see the cloud of black smoke across the Manhatten skyline. Once they land, they are stuck in New York with their flowers; all flights have been canceled. The two sisters are taken in by a total stranger and to repay him, they go to Union Square where they create a floral memorial. They use their flowers to build replicas of the Twin Towers. It really is a touching story of not just the events of 9/11, but how people can express their sympathy and solidarity with their fellow human beings who are suffering great emotional pain. The illustrations are beautifully done, beginning with color, turning to black and white as the tragic events unfold, and then returning to color with the appearance of the roses and the candles at the memorials that were set up in the days immediately following 9/11. It is one of those books that parents will want to read with their children. Ages 7 and up

5
The Little Chapel that Stood

The Little Chapel that Stood
The Little Chapel that Stood. Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
The little chapel that stood is St. Paul's Chapel that was situated next to the World Trade Center. In spite of its close proximity to the towers that collapsed after being hit by two jet airliners, the chapel not only remained standing, but not a single pane of glass was broken. This fact was not lost on those who knew the church's history. It was at this church, built in 1766, that George Washington prayed for the nation after being inaugurated as the first president of the United States. On 9/11, it became a temporary service area for those engaged in rescue efforts on that day and the days that followed. The story is illustrated with beautiful watercolor drawings. Ages 4 and up

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