It's been 12 years and I still have no words of wisdom about that day. Luckily, other people do. Here's a list of books about September 11, 2001 and its aftermath.
Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan. From the confusion of that morning, to the stunned aftermath, three teens in New York tell their stories as they try to make sense of the new world around them.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Two years after his father died on 9/11, 9-year-old Oskar is still reeling from the loss. WHen he finds a key labeled "Black" in his father's closet, he thinks it might offer some clues, so he sets out to find the lock that fits the key. Intertwined is the story of his grandparents-- survivors of the Dresden bombing. Published for adults, teens will enjoy this one.
Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moscowitz. This is a Stonewall honor book. Told in alternating between Craig and Lio, the boys deal with family issues, the aftermath of 9/11, and the sniper shootings terrorizing Washington, DC. They can find solace and happiness in each other, but only if they allow themselves to open up to someone new.
With Their Eyes: September 11th--The View from a High School at Ground Zero edited by Annie Thoms. Stuyvesant High School is 4 blocks from where the World Trade Center used to be. Thoms teaches English there and had her students write prose poem monologues about that day, written from their own experiences and those of people they interviewed.
In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman. Living in lower Manhattan, Spiegelman and his family were witness to the attacks on the World Trade Center. After the confusion and fear of that day, there is the anger at how the attacks were used by politicians-- all emotions Spiegelman works out through his comic art.
The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon. The 9/11 report is the official post-mortem on what happened that day, as put together by the 9/11 Commission. While the thought of making a graphic novel adaptation may seem a bit crass, Jacobson and Colon have actually made the dense, 600 page report accessible and readable to much broader audience.
Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger. Sam's (full name, Samar) mother has kept her from her large, traditional Indian family and Sam doesn't really know much about her heritage. After 9/11, her uncle shows up on their doorstep, the recent tragedy making him want to reach out to his sister. Through him, Sam discovers where she comes from, and through that, who she is.
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers. Robin's from New York (Harlem) and after 9/11, he can't see going to college when he can be fighting the people who did this to his city, his country. But when he gets to Iraq, he learns that things aren't a clear as he thought. Iraq is beautiful, but war is something else entirely.
Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos. Nadira is just trying to fit in after her family immigrates from Bangladesh to New York. After their visas expire, they're just trying to stay under the radar until they become legal. But after 9/11 her father is arrested and Nadira's just trying to keep it together, but none of the adults in her life will take the time to realize that she's failing.
What books would you add?
Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support YA Reading List by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links.