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Stories of September 11

Tales of Humanity in the Face of Tragedy

Facts are always important, but a well told story can be an even more powerful tool in comprehending the terrible events of September 11, 2001 – and how we survived them.


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

The true story of a New Your City fireboat. Launched in 1931 and retired after many years of fighting fires along the Hudson River, the John J. Harvey was saved from being scrapped and then called into service again on September 11, 2001.


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer

Nine year old Oskar Schell is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.




Shine, Coconut Moon
by Neesha Meminger

In the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Samar, who is of Punjabi heritage but has been raised by her single mother with no connection to her family, begins to learn about her history and to get in touch with the grandparents her mother shuns.



Windows On The World: A Novel
by Frédéric Beigbeder

A fictional reflection on the last hour of life of a father and his two sons, trapped on September 11 in the “Windows on the World” restaurant in the North tower of the World Trade Center.




In the Shadow of No Towers
by Art Spiegelman

When the towers fell, Spiegelman’s teenage daughter had started school directly below the towers days earlier, and the family had lived in the area for years. In an oversized, two-page-spread graphic format that echoes the earliest newspaper comics, he relates his experience of the national tragedy in drawings and text.



The Attacks of September 11, 2001
by Lauren Tarshis

When Lucas decides to skip school because he wants to discuss football with a firefighter friend of his father’s, he finds himself caught up in the terrorist attacks on New York City.




Falling Man
by Don DeLillo

It begins in the smoke and ash of the burning towers and tracks the aftermath of this global tremor in the intimate lives of a few people. Keith walks out of the rubble into a life that he’d always imagined belonged to everyone but him. His estranged wife is memory-haunted, trying to reconcile two versions of the same shadowy man. And their small son Justin stands at their window, scanning the sky for more planes.



Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box
by Juan Felipe Herrera

When the towers fall, New York City is blanketed by dust. On the Lower East Side, Yolanda promises to gather as much of it as she can. Maybe returning the dust to Ground Zero can comfort all the voices. And maybe it can help Uncle DJ recover from the injuries he suffered when the towers collapsed, and open his eyes again.



Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama that Unfolded in the Skies Over American on 9/11
by Lynn Spencer

In this gripping moment-to-moment narrative, Lynn Spencer brings the inspiring true drama of the heroic response of American pilots and controllers on the morning of 9/11 vividly to life for the first time, taking us right inside the airliner cockpits and control towers, the fighter jets and the military battle cabs.



The Towers: A Dan Lenson novel of 9/11
by David Poyer

Book 13 of the series. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Commander Dan Lenson is visiting the Pentagon, and his wife is at a job interview at the World Trade Center. In the action-packed scenes that follow, Dan fights his way through flames and destruction to safety, and tries to reach his wife on her cell phone, but the terrifying few seconds before they’re cut off do nothing to calm his fears.



Love is the Higher Law
by David Levithan

The lives of three teens are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.


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