Thursday, August 11, 2022
Aug. 11, 2022

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Check It Out: Learn from past, work toward better future


This September is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an airliner over Pennsylvania full of innocent travelers. Thinking back on these terrible events, I clearly remember the surprise, horror and anger I felt as each tragedy unfolded. In this way, my memories allow the 20 years that have passed to feel as if it’s only been a few years not two decades. What brings home the reality of the passage of time is when I consider how many people there are who know about 9/11 only from books and visual images because they were born after Sept. 11, 2001. In fact, many of them are entering their twenties, and are, for all intents and purposes, adults. Twenty years? This number astonishes me.

I continue to hope that all humans will embrace peace and reject violence even as I admit that this often seems impossible. One way to work toward a better future is to learn from our past, so today I offer books about Sept. 11, 2001. I’ve always felt that to read is to learn, and to learn is to hope. 

The world could certainly use more hope. 

Adult Titles

  • “Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11” by Mitchell Zuckoff.
  • “The Man I Never Met: A Memoir” by Adam Schefter.
  • “On that Day: The Definitive Timeline of 9/11” by William M. Arkin.
  • “The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11” by Garrett M. Graff.
  • “The Red Bandana” by Tom Rinaldi.

Children’s Titles

  • “30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag” written by Amanda Gilman Davis, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport.
  • “Branches of Hope: The 9/11 Survivor Tree” written by Ann Magee, illustrated by Nicole Wong.
  • “Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of John J. Harvey” written and illustrated by Maira Kalman.
  • “September 11: National Geographic Kids Readers, Level 3” by Libby Romero.

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