Looking for some September 11 Books for your K-12 classroom or library? Books about this event are still growing in number, so I update this list annually to ensure it’s as up-to-date as possible. The last update was August 21, 2023.
WHERE WERE YOU?
Tuesday, September 11, 2001 is one of those historical days that people never forget. We remember where we were, who was there, and how we felt.
I was on my first-period conference in my very first year as a teacher. I liked to listen to the radio on my conference period, and that’s when I first heard the announcement.
A plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City.
I remember thinking the radio guy had to be wrong. The plane could not have hit the towers I visited in 10th grade with my mom and sisters. Probably a mistake…right? I had “tardy table duty” that morning, and indeed, one other teacher had already heard the news by the time I got there. The other “tardy table” teacher had not heard anything yet.
By the time my second period class came in, a few students and many teachers were already starting to talk about it. I had to tell this class of seventh graders the news. My hands were shaking. In a seat on the front row, a student named Brittany started crying.
It was my 26th day as a teacher.
SEPTEMBER 11 FOR TODAY’S STUDENTS
The vast majority of students in today’s K-12 schools were not yet born in 2001. My own children weren’t born yet, either.
How can we help them understand the magnitude of how much this event shook the US and the world? How much people came together to heal? How much fear, prejudice, and Islamophobia continue to divide our communities today?
SEPTEMBER 11 BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS
As they do with other historical events, books can help insert students into that time period.
September 11, 2001 wasn’t all that long ago, but the world has changed so much in these 20 years. Students who read stories set during 9/11 can develop a better understanding of the profound sadness, fear, and outrage that came from that event.
Books can help them feel the patriotism and profound grief surrounding that time.
#Ownvoices stories by Muslim authors (who may have been children or young adults on 9/11) can help readers empathize with Muslim Americans who suddenly found themselves blamed for the actions of a few.
I’ve created a presentation of recommended September 11 books for classrooms and libraries. It includes picture books, middle grades, and YA fiction and nonfiction titles about September 11. Please feel free to download, edit, and share as you like. Use it as a booktalk or scroll in the library during checkout and downtimes.
SEPTEMBER 11 LIBRARY LESSON
Looking for more? This is a 18-slide PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation for middle grade librarians and classroom teachers. It also comes with an editable PDF list of 9/11 reads for Grades 4-7.