5 Children’s Books About 9/11 for Your Older Kids

It's been more than 20 years since attacks on 9/11. These books will help you talk to your kids about it.

Sept. 11, 2001, is an important day in history. However, it is also not an easy subject to talk about. For some of us, it doesn’t feel like it happened that long ago. But, for others, they have no way to experience and understand the day and aftermath of the events that transpired 20 years ago.

These children’s books provide “the how” in explaining the events and emotions of such a tragic and important day. Please note that all recommended books are aimed for older children to read.

America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell, by Don Brown

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 6-10

This book provides real-life stories from first responders, passengers, witnesses and survivors that were all part of that fateful day. The text is direct and engaging without sensationalizing it. Vivid watercolor illustrations capture the emotion in Brown’s fourth installment of the Actual Times series.

Nine, Ten: A September 11th Story, by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 8-12

A story about four middle school-aged children in different parts of the world that have no idea how their lives are about to be profoundly impacted by one singular event. They don’t know each other. A story about a picturesque September day and the 48 hours leading up to this monumental day.

Eleven, by Tom Rogers

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 10-12

A best-seller at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, “Eleven” is about Alex Douglas and his birthday. He is turning 11 on 9/11. But, according to Alex, nothing exciting ever happens to the native New Yorker. Life is pretty much (boringly) normal. It turns out maybe this birthday will be anything but normal.

Towers Falling, by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 8-12

“Towers Falling” is set 15 years after the attacks. Deja has moved to a new home, new neighborhood and new school. She’s not sure she likes anything about her new situation. Her dad is still sick with the unexplained coughing and nightmares. And he gets angry when she brings up anything about the towers. Her new teacher says everyone is connected to each other and those towers. But why should she care? It’s ancient history.

The Red Bandana, by Tom Rinaldi

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 10-12

Award-winning ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi tells a real-life story about a hero named Welles Crowther, also known as the man who wears the red bandana. This story follows his selfless acts that he took on that day to save nearly a dozen people in the South Tower after it was struck.

This post was originally published in 2021 and is updated regularly. 

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