20 children’s picture books about 9/11 for kids

How do you explain to your children complex world events such as September 11th?

Below is a list of picture books to help children understand events from award-winning authors and illustrators. These books for children of all ages include first-hand nonfiction and fictional stories that live on in teacher and family book lists across the states!

1. 30,000 stitches by Amanda Davis

This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of how the American flag flew over Ground Zero and across America to bring hope to people’s lives again. Learn about the history of science and how a powerful symbol can heal and capture people’s hearts.

Learn more: Amazon

2. Sirius, the hero dog of 9/11

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“Sirius” is the true story of a brave dog who patrolled the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This story is told from Sirius’ perspective and shows the power of friendship and courage. As Sirius dies to save the others, co-author Hank tells the story in a humane and triumphant way.

Learn more: Amazon

3. Otto’s Tales: Today is September 11th

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Otto the Bulldog and his best friend go on an adventure to learn about the tragic attack in history. The illustration and writing of this book are upbeat and instill a sense of patriotism in young readers!

Learn more: Amazon

4. “This Very Tree” by Sean Rubin

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The beautifully illustrated book tells the story of 9/11 and regrowth. Narrated from the perspective of a resilient Callery pear tree that has survived, award-winning illustrator Sean Rubin teaches children how the darkest events can make us strong people.

Learn more: Amazon

5. I’m Brave: The Book of Resilience

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This award winning team teaches kids about the power of courage and is a great accompaniment to 9/11 stories. Susan Verde empowers children to develop perseverance and resilience through the story of a brave girl.

Learn more: Amazon

6. National Geographic Readers: September 11 (Level 3) By Libby Romero

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This classic National Geographic children’s film captures age-appropriate images and text that discuss the tragic event of September 11th. The focus is on the heroes and stories of hope that emerged during this pivotal moment.

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7. Branches of Hope: The 9/11 Survivors Tree

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This hopeful story about The Survivor Tree on Ground Zero is a tribute to New York City and its brave and resilient people. The tree has been rehabilitated and planted in the memorial and shows how important it is for people to stay together during difficult times.

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8. September 11 Then and Now (Real Book: Disasters) by Peter Benoit

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This powerful series presents the events leading up to the horrific event and explores how this historic moment changed the world.

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9. All That Wendy Mills Left

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This moving picture book weaves interconnected stories told from different perspectives on the devastating event. The film revolves around 16-year-old Jesse grieving the loss of her brother and 16-year-old Alia, a proud Muslim who handled the difficult event in history. The stories are woven together to talk about how different people grieve over tragic events and how coming together can help us heal. Perfect for kids in middle school!

Learn more: Amazon

10. Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

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On September 11, 2001, young Brandon visited his father at the World Trade Center when the unthinkable happened. This informative and New York Times bestselling illustrated book illustrates the pivotal moment and its aftermath in an engaging and memorable way. Perfect reading for middle school students.

Learn more: Amazon

11. Survivor Tree: Inspired by a true story

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This fascinating story about the green, flowering leaves of the Callery Pear Tree teaches children how beauty can emerge from the dark. Cheryl Oppen likens the symbolism of the resilient tree to the human spirit.

Learn more: Amazon

12. In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers: The Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, and Years After the September 11th Attacks by Don Brown.

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This heartfelt graphic novel illustrates the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Don Brown tells the story from a journalist’s perspective. Perfect for older kids!

Learn more: Amazon

13. September 11, 2001: A Simple Children’s Account By Nancy Bufenberger Val Gottesman

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Nancy Bufenberger offers a simple, candid account of the 9/11 attacks for young children to read.

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14. The Little Tree Miracle: The Incredible 9/11 Survivor’s Tree Story Written by Linda S. Foster and illustrated by Alicia Young

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The Miracle of Little Tree beautifully illustrates how resilience and loving support can lead to amazing, powerful results! A perfect family read.

Learn more: Amazon

15. Falling Towers by Jewell Parker Rhodes

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Award-winning author Joel Parker Rhodes teaches young children who were not alive to remember the event and how this moment changed history. She explains it beautifully through the story of a fifth grade teacher who creates lessons about the experience. This picture book captures the gravity of the event in an optimistic spirit.

Learn more: Amazon

16. What were the twin towers? (What Was It?) by Jim O’Connor

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Jim O’Connor’s photo-realistic book answers the question “What are the Twin Towers” and what happened to them?

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17. The Man in the Red Handkerchief by Honor Crowther Fagan

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The Man in the Red Bandanna tells the powerful true story of a brave man who saved many people from the upper floors on that fateful day. It’s an account that inspires your kids to be brave.

Learn more: Amazon

18. Mick Hart Was Here From Barbara Park

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Award-winning Barbara Park teaches children about grief after a tragedy. A young girl tells her personal story of the death of a classmate. You learn to deal with grief and sorrow. A great story to promote healthy coping strategies after challenging events have been identified or experienced.

Learn more: Amazon

19. It’s OK to Ask: A Book to Encourage Kids to Think Critical! by Timmy Diaz

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Author Timmy Diaz teaches children to think critically and ask questions about the world. A curious little boy goes on a journey to answer his questions. A great book to help children think critically, search for truth, and trust themselves. This book can be used for children to develop their own questions about 9/11 and other tragic events.

Learn more: Amazon

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