8 intermediate-level books on September 11



Yusuf Azeem has waited most of his life for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition in his small town in Texas.

Only this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, an anniversary that puts everyone in their Muslim community on edge.

With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting against the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago has not subsided. Can he retain his joy and friendships in the face of grief and prejudice?

I think every American has a story about 9/11. They remember where they were and who they were with. I was in grade 3 when the Twin Towers fell and knew something big had happened, but I didn’t fully understand the implications or how everything was going to change.

It has been two decades since that fateful day, and it is important not only to look back, but also to educate the next generation on this world-changing event. That day wiped out the innocence of millions of people, and we still feel the fallout today. It really takes a while for perspective to set in, and I think the following books that tell the impact of 9/11 through the eyes of children will resonate.

I always look to books to make sense of the world. And while a book can’t answer all the questions, it can help us understand. College is a transition point for so many kids, which is why I think it’s important to have books like these for college kids to help make sense of the world they will eventually have. control as adults.

Note: The following books may contain sensitive information about 9/11 and address issues such as loss, racism, and trauma.

Nine, ten: a story of September 11

Nine, ten: a story of September 11 by Nora Raleigh Baskin

This story traces the lives of four children as they face growth, school and family. Everyone remembers the day of September 11, but the story actually starts a few days earlier and follows: Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn and has an absent father; Will, whose father was killed in a car accident; Nadira, who has to be content with being a Hijabi Muslim girl in America; and Amy, who is starting at a new school and misses her mother in New York City.

Falling towers

Falling towers by Jewel Parker Rhodes

Falling towers follows Deja and her friends Sabeen and Ben as they conduct research for a school project that should explain why the towers that were once visible outside their classroom are now gone. Deja is confused by the project and leaves with her friends to find answers, especially to find out why her Pop gets so angry at the mere mention of the towers.

Seven and a half tons of steel

Seven and a half tons of steel by Janet Nolan and Thomas Gonzalez

This story follows the passage of USS New York, a navy ship that received a steel beam that once stood inside the Twin Towers. The beam has been transformed and forged to become the bow of the ship, a transition that symbolizes how tragedy can create something extraordinary.

The places where we sleep

The places where we sleep by Caroline Brooks DuBois

Abbey is the new kid at school, arriving in early September 2001. Her father works for the military, and his base is in Tennessee. Abbey finds a friend at school, but 9/11 changes everything and his family faces the possibility of his father going to active duty.

Somewhere among

Somewhere among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu

Americans of course see September 11 in the American context. However, this fateful day was felt around the world, including Japan. Ema’s life is split between Japan and America, and her life is about to get complicated once her little brother arrives. Circumstances cause Ema to start school in Japan, then watch the 9/11 tragedy unfold in the distance, forcing her to see her mother cry.

Kabul shoot by nh senzai cover

Kabul shooting by NH Senzai

The country other than America that felt the most immediate impact of 9/11 has to be Afghanistan, which was invaded soon after. Kabul shooting follows Fadi and his family as they attempt to flee Afghanistan and relocate to America. Sadly, in the chaos of the start, the family is separated from their daughter, Mariam, and everyone has to deal with the loss as they adjust to life in post 9/11 America.

Just a drop of water

Just a drop of water by Kerry O’Malley Cerra

Jake Green is just trying to be the best cross country racer he can be. But after 9/11, his hometown becomes a hot spot for the FBI when it finds out that one of the hijackers was living there. In addition, Jake’s best friend is the target of a tyrant because he is Arab-Muslim. It’s hard to contextualize how much 9/11 changed everyday life, and Just a drop of water provides this information through the lens of a young boy.


Eleven by Tom Rogers

On his 11th birthday, Alex rescues a stray dog, whom he names Radar. It also happens that Alex’s birthday falls on September 11, a day that not only changes his life forever, but that of his country.

You can also check out these 9/11 adult books, 9/11 kids books, and 9/11 YA books.


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