• Susan Hefley

September 11 Books

The 20th Anniversary is approaching and this is a topic that every teacher, parent and especially school library needs books about. Do you have the books you need? Consider adding these to your collection.


Top Picks:

Heroes: September 11, 2001 by Susan Hefley


A simple account of what happened in America on September 11, 2001. It explains to the youngest of children and students about this day in a poetic and meaningful tone that says this happened, but we are going to be all right. It is a tribute to our heroes and their sacrifices. It honors those that serve and protect our country and is a proper tribute to the heroes of this remarkable tragedy. It is a story of hope.


*Bias admission: This IS my book and I am a little biased about it.

Where to buy? I am self publishing and the only places to buy it are the paperback version through Amazon or the hardback version through Lulu. Please order early as on-demand publishing takes time to print and ship. Need a copy in a rush? Please reach out to me directly.


Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman


The John J. Harvey fireboat was the largest, fastest, shiniest fire boat 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. 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. [from Goodreads]


The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein


Caldecott winning illustrated story of Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers. Exposes students to the concept of the Twin Towers and simply ends with "Now the Towers are gone," and does not venture any further into connections with events on September 11, 2001.










September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right by H. Byron Masterson Elementary School


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. [from Good Reads]



14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy and Thomas Gonzalez


In the aftermath of September 11 a Maasai warrior returns home to share his story in hopes that his tribe will give a great gift, a blessed cow, to America in this time of tragedy. To give a cow for this tribe is a great sacrifice and this is the story of how this small gesture helped heal.




The Little Chapel that Stood by A.B. Curtiss


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. [from Good Reads]


Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes


One of my favorite read alouds for older students. It has diverse vibrant characters who help this story come to life in a way that older elementary/middle grade students will appreciate. It is a story that answers the questions What is September 11 and Why is it important to ME for these students.











Others to consider:

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

Just A Drop of Water by Kerry O’Malley Cerra

Eleven by Tom Rogers

The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story by Cheryl Somers Aubin

Older Nonfiction

What Were the Twin Towers? (What was series...) by Jim O'Connor

The 2001 World Trade Center Attack (Code Red) by Jacqueline Dembar Greene

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

September 11 Then and Now (A True Book) by Peter Benoit


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© 2020 Susan Hefley.

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