September 11 — A Book List

Most of us who were alive or old enough to be aware, remember where we were on September 11, 2001. I was working at another public library and pulling into the parking lot when my co-worker asked me if I heard anything on the news about a plane flying into the World Trade Center in New York City. We originally thought that it was a small plane whose pilot accidentally flew off course. It wasn’t until later in the morning that we realized what really happened. Every generation seems to be defined by a major news event and members can tell you exactly where they were when it happened. For my parents, it was the assassination of President Kennedy. (My mother was in gym class). My childhood was defined by the Challenger disaster. (I was home sick from school and saw the shuttle launch live on television). And for the next generation, were the attacks on September 11, 2001. I originally had written a post about how scared people were that day, and how a lot everything seemed to change after that day (and yet how some things stayed the same) but everything I wrote came off as cliche which I thought was a disservice to those who were genuinely affected that day by losing loved ones or who were there in Lower Manhattan or the Pentagon. Instead, I just offer this very brief list of books regarding 9/11, in honor of the tenth anniversary. This list is not, by all means, exhaustive. You can read a more complete list from our catalog here and more suggestions from The New York Times. You can also check out our display of September 11 books in the reference area.



  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer
    A nine year old boy tries to find the lock that goes to the key his father, who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11, left him.
  • Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box by Juan Felipe Herrera
    Yolanda must deal with past tragedies when her uncle becomes injured at the World Trade Center on September 11.
  • The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard
    After her mother dies at work in the World Trade Center on September 11, Wendy must leave her beloved step-father and brother to go live with her father, whom she barely knows.
  • The Submission by Amy Waldman
    Mohammed Khan is the anonymous winner to construct a memorial for victims of a terrorist attack. When it is revealed that he is Muslim, Khan finds himself facing a lot of wrath over his selection.

posted by Laura

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