United Church of Christ

A Bibliography of Children's Storybooks: Related to the Events of September 11th

New and used titles may be found in public libraries, your local bookstore, or from online booksellers.

For Younger Children:

Curtiss, A. B., The Little Chapel that Stood.  Oldcastle Publishing, 2003. 

For ages 4-8, 40 pages, ISBN-10: 0932529771.  
Beautifully illustrated book tells of the historic chapel less than 100 yards from the Twin Towers that miraculously survived on
9-11. Firemen hung their shoes on the fence and raced to help the people in the towers:” Oh what gallant men did we lose/
Who never came back to get their shoes.” The story of terror overcome by courage and bravery that teaches us no one is too small to make a difference.


Deedy, Carmen Agra and Thomas Gonzalez,  14 Cows for America.  Peachtree Publishers, 2009. 
For Grades 2–5, 36 pages, ISBN-10: 1561454907.  

Master storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy hits all the right notes in this elegant story of generosity that crosses boundaries, nations, and cultures. In June of 2002, a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya. An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed on the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unsought and unexpected as it is extraordinary. Word of the gift will travel news wires around the globe. Many will be profoundly touched, but for Americans, this selfless gesture will have deeper meaning still. For a heartsick nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust and darkness as a soft light of hope and friendship.

Gerstein, Mordicai,  The Man Who Walked Between the Towers . Square Fish, 2007.
For ages 5-8, 40 pages, ISBN-10: 031236878X.  

The setting for this story is the Twin Towers, but it is NOT about the bombing.  The towers are intact in the story. This is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. Published in 2003, the book tells the true story of Philippe Petit, a man who walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope. Gerstein won the 2004 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations.


Kalman, Maira, Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey (Picture Puffin Books). Puffin, 2005.
For Preschool-Grade 3, 48 pages, ISBN-10: 0142403628.
The John J. Harvey fireboat was the largest, fastest, shiniest fireboat of its time, but by 1995, the city didn’t need old fireboats anymore. So the Harvey retired, until a group of friends decided to save it from the scrap heap. Then, one sunny September day in 2001, something so horrible happened that the whole world shook. And a call came from the fire department, asking if the Harvey could battle the roaring flames. In this inspiring true story, Maira Kalman brings a New York City icon to life and proves that old heroes never die.  This book has received several children’s literature awards.

Masterson Elementary Students, Masterson Elementary Student and First Grade Students of H. Byron Masterson Elementary in Kennett Missouri, September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right.  Tangerine Press 2002.
For Elementary students, 32 pages, ISBN-10: 043944246X. 
On September 11th horrific events occurred, yet through the simple text and vibrant art of first graders, we are reminded that the world continued the next day. On each page, children experience the comforts of ordinary routines, such as their teacher reading books to them, having homework and recess, and knowing that 2 + 2 still equals 4. This is a poignant message of hope that reassures us all that even after bad things happen, tomorrow always brings a new day.

Patel, Andrea, On That Day: A Book of Hope for Children (Reading Rainbow Book).  Tricycle Press, 2002.
For ages 4-7, 32 pages, ISBN-10: 1582461007. 
Sometimes bad things happen in the world. But there will always be good things in the world, too. You are one of those good things. With simple language and a heart-felt message, Andrea Patel addresses a timely and timeless question: What can you do when bad things happen? "Whatever we as teachers, and as adults, can offer the children-and each other-in the way of reassurance, and hope, and optimism, can only help heal us all,” writes author Andrea Patel.


Rodriguez, Cindy L., I Was Born On 9 / 11.    Publish America, 2009.
For ages 4-8, 41 pages, ISBN-10: 1448950511.
Who would have dreamed that the exact same day on which they were born would be the same day that one of the most world-changing, history-making events ever occurred? In poetic rhyme and brilliant colors, the narrator in this book, I Was Born on 9/11, shares what happened on September 11, 2001. The reader sees the events in New York, how America pulled together, how our people realized the value of their country, and how we as a nation can have hope for a safer tomorrow. One is left with a sense of patriotism, cooperation, passion, and a deep respect for those who gave their lives to help keep our country safe that day, and for those who continue to do so even today. For September 11th birthday celebrants everywhere.

Schwartz, Teri J., The Day America Cried.  Enduring Freedom Press, 2002. 
For ages 7-9, 48 pages, ISBN -10: 0972394508.    
This children's book describes the events of 9/11/01 and in the weeks that follow. Moving beyond the facts, it captures the moments as they were lived without generating fear and provides a message of hope and courage. The book focuses on human reactions to the events such as emotions, acts of kindness and our need to continue onward in spite of fear and uncertainty. It attempts to explain why 9/11 occurred without prejudice. The story is accompanied by graphics (b&w) that are meant to keep the children's interest. The events are told by a cheerful cat who finds his way onto each page of the text as well as onto the full page illustrations. Children between ages 7 and 9 years old will likely be able to read this book alone. However, the material in the book can be utilized into classroom lessons on 9/11, as well as those on citizenship, for older and younger school-aged children as well.

Winter, Jeanette, September Roses. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
For Grades K-3, 40 pages, ISBN-10: 0374367361.
On September 11, 2001, two sisters from South Africa are flying to New York City with 2,400 roses to be displayed at a flower show. As their plane approaches the airport, a cloud of black smoke billows over the Manhattan skyline. When they land, they learn of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. All flights are canceled; the sisters cannot go home, and they are stranded with boxes and boxes of roses. In the days that followed September 11, Jeanette Winter was drawn to Union Square and saw, among the hundreds of memorial offerings, twin towers made of roses. In the pages of this small and vibrant book, she tells a moving story.

For Older Children:  

Englar, Mary, September 11 (We the People: Modern America series).  Compass Point Books, 2007.
For ages 9-12, 48 pages, ISBN-10: 075652041X.  
On a bright sunny morning on September 11, 2001, hijackers took control of four U.S. commercial airplanes. The terrorists crashed two planes into two World Trade Center Towers in New York City. Forty minutes later, hijackers crashed another plane into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Passengers on a fourth hijacked plane resisted, and the plane crashed in an empty Pennsylvania field. The tragic events of September 11 killed nearly 3,000 people, scarred Americans, and changed the world forever.


Santella, Andrew, September 11, 2001 (Cornerstones of Freedom: Second).  Children's Press (CT), 2007.
For Grades 4-6, 48 pages, ISBN-10: 053118692X.  
Become an eyewitness to history with the new Cornerstones of Freedom, Second Series. Rewritten and updated, with even more full-color photographs and historical engravings than before, Cornerstones of Freedom, Second Series introduces the people and events that helped shape the United States. This book is an informational text about the events of September 11, 2011 and provides basic facts about the three disaster sites, the investigation and the many people who responded to the tragedy.

For Middle Schoolers:

Ringgold, Faith, What Will You Do for Peace? Impact of 9/11 on New York City Youth.   InterRelations Collaborative, Inc. 2004.
For ages 9-12, 32 pages, ISBN-10: 0976175304.
Following the tragic events on 9/11, New York City youth, aged 11 to 19 from many cultures, came together to document their experiences on 9/11. In their own words and images, they produced a remarkable book calling for peace and understanding. Their powerful artwork caught the eye of celebrated artist, Faith Ringgold, and they are honored to publish this book in association with her.    Ms. Ringgold writes:  "When I was shown the layout for this new book…... my heart filled with joy. What a beautiful collaboration, a perfect response from New York City's young people. This gracefully poetic account of that frightening day in their young lives is a gift of sensitivity and love. I was amazed at their generosity of spirit. I found the paintings and expressive verse in this book deeply inspiring.

Thoms, Annie,   With Their Eyes: September 11th--The View from a High School at Ground Zero.  Harper Collins, 2002.  
For ages 13 and up, 256 pages, ISBN-10: 9780060517182.
Monologues from Stuyvesant High School. Tuesday, September 11, seemed like any other day at Stuyvesant High School, only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. The semester was just beginning, and the students, faculty, and staff were ready to start a new year.Within a few hours that Tuesday morning, they would experience an event that transformed all their lives completely. Here, in their own words, are the firsthand stories of a day none of us will ever forget.

For All Ages:

Fahnestock, Andrea Henderson and Goodman, Robin F. editors, The Day Our World Changed. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2002.
For all ages, 128 pages, ISBN-10: 0810935449.  
All of America's children were affected by the horrific events of September 11, 2001. At such times of pain and tragedy, children often turn to art to express their deepest emotions, and so they did after 9/11. The New York University Child Study Center and the Museum of the City of New York have collaborated on this unusual book, which presents children's artwork created in response to 9/11. Seventy-five works by children 5-18 years old, all from the New York area, were selected for the book and accompanying juried exhibition, which opened on September 11, 2002. Robin F. Goodman, a well-known child mental health expert, discusses the effects of the tragedy on children and their artistic responses to it. The book will feature personal essays by prominent New York artists, writers, historians, and civic and religious leaders; the children's commentary about their art and experiences is also included. The Day Our World Changed provides insight into what some of our nation's youngest citizens saw on that historic day and how they foresee the future of their city, their nation, and the global community at large.

Harwayne, Shelley and New York City Board of Education,   Messages to Ground Zero: Children Respond to September 11, 2001.  Heinemann Publishing, 2002.

For all ages, 176 pages, ISBN-10: 0325005141.
This is a collection of letters, poetry, and art by children in response to September 11th. All were sent to other children reflecting innocent support, outreach, and caring. This book is an archive of what children were thinking and feeling through their honest and heart-filled messages.


Marsh, Carole, The Day That Was Different: September 11, 2001: When Terrorists Attacked America.   Gallopade International, 2001.
For all ages, 48 pages, ISBN-10: 0635009188.
Timely, factual, sensitive information for children about the day terrorists attacked America.
• The Day That Was Different: What Happened on September 11, 2001 and What It Means;
• Other Days That Were Different: Pearl Harbor, the Bombing of Ft. Sumter (start of Civil War), and the Challenger Explosion
• Home of the Brave: They Came to Help-Firefighters, Police, the Military, Civilian Volunteers
• The Government in Charge: What Happens When America Suffers an Attack?
• Timeline of Significant Events
• The Geography of Terrorism
• 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?
• Land of the Free: How a Democratic Country is Different
• I Want to Help!: What Kids, Families, and Schools Can Do to  Help
• Is this the "First War" of the 21st Century?
• What Will America Do Next?
• What Good Can Come From this Experience?
• Tolerance and Your Role as a Student
• Dear Diary: A Page to Record Your Feelings
• Dear Friend: A Letter to Write
• Pride and Patriotism
• My Questions for Further Discussion



Compiled August 2011 by the Rev. JoAnne Bogart, UCC Education Consultant, Serving the Western Region