Best Books for 9/11

Kids curious about what happened during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks can check out our list of kids' books for various ages, from picture books to tween novels, that describe or touch on the tragic events of that day. These compelling stories show the extraordinary heroism of ordinary people. And one celebrates the towers before they fell, when one man dared to walk between them on a tightrope.

Time Ryders (Alex Scarrow, 2011)
Parents need to know that this fast-paced adventure takes the idea of time traveling to a different level, and is a hard book to put down. The first of four books (with more to follow), it centers on three time-riding agents whose mission is to save the world from the interference of other time-traveling manipulators. It does contain quite a bit of violence, and the three protagonists are endangered by evil characters and cannibalistic mutants. But overall, good triumphs over evil and the three protagonists grapple with some important issues and hard choices. The Time Rider website also offers interactive missions to play.

Shooting Kabul (N.H. Senzai, 2011)
Parents need to know that this riveting first novel is a fictionalized account of the author's husband's escape from Kabul and his adjustment to middle school in Fremont, Calif. It deals with oppression, fear, difficult choices, guilt, prejudice, and bullying, as well as friendship, hope, and family honor. As historical fiction, it also presents insights into various aspects of Afghan culture and politics, Islam, and the dangers and hardships of being a refugee, including a discussion of the impact of the 9/11 attacks on the immigrant community. Do not be misled by the title: the word "shooting" is not a violent reference.

America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell
Parents need to know that this fourth volume in the Actual Time series by Don Brown is a very straightforward, journalistic account of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Quotes from real people as well as their stories provide the human element, and graphic, though not gory, watercolor illustrations show the destruction of the plane crashes as well as the emotions of the people involved. Though it is written as a picture book, and suggested for ages 6 to 10, it is more appropriate for those 8 or 9 and over. Parents of any age reader definitely should be prepared to discuss the events and emotions with their children.

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