This fall marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York, meaning that most of today’s young readers were born after the attacks. In response, publishers are offering a variety of titles for all ages to communicate the events of that day while also offering historical and cultural context. Here we share a selection of titles, for a variety of ages, that are being published this year.
This novel follows the lives of four middle schoolers in the days leading up to September 11, 2001. Each of the characters are from varied backgrounds across the country, but each of their lives intersect on the fateful day.
Eleven-year-old Ema’s parents are divorced; her father is Japanese and her mother is American, and as a result she usually spends summers in California. But in 2001 she stays in Japan, and as the tragedies of September 11 unfold, she must absorb the tragedies – and watch her mother grieve – from far away, in this novel-in-verse.
In this picture book, Gassman tells the true story of sea captains and their crews who helped to evacuate nearly 500,000 people that day. The art adds a unique dimension to this story, with an emphasis on the blue sky as a backdrop to detailed, monochromatic line drawings.
Two teens’ stories set in two different times intersect in this YA novel. Devout Muslim Alia’s life is unexpectedly endangered when she goes to her father’s office in the World Trade Center on September 11, and in the present day, Jesse is embittered by the loss of her brother in the attacks, and sets out to discover what happened.
This picture book explores a rare story from the aftermath of the attacks. Steel from the wreckage of the Twin Towers was repurposed to build the USS New York, a naval ship. Nolan explains how the work was done, in an effort to demonstrate creating something meaningful in the wake of the day’s tragedy.
Kyle sees the first tower fall from his high school window, and on his way home he runs into a mysterious girl covered in soot and wearing costume angel wings. What follows is a YA novel told from the perspective of two teens who find solace and friendship with each other as they try to heal from the day’s devastation.
Corretta Scott King Honor recipient Rhodes’s latest novel is the story of a fifth grade class learning about the attacks; three friends must reconcile history to their present.