If someone were to ask me where I was when I learned of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, I would be able to provide them perfect details of that moment. I remember the mayhem I saw on the television, I remember the screams and the smoke, and I remember the fear that instantly covered the entire country.


I was a seventh grader in the middle of quiet Iowa, yet my life stopped the moment those planes crashed, and everyone’s lives stopped the moment those towers fell.


The students in my classroom today weren’t even born when September 11th, 2001 changed the history of our country. They don’t remember the chaos; they don’t remember the horrific images, and they don’t remember the cries of absolute terror.


Yet, they know of September 11th, 2001, and their curious brains wish to try to understand the devastation that occurred that day. They know September 11th is important, and they know it is their duty to remember those that lost their lives on that fateful day.


nine, ten: A September 11 Story, by Nora Raleigh Baskin, is a great introduction novel for any upper elementary, or middle-level, student trying to piece together all that happened on that day.


nine, ten: A September 11 Story starts off on September 9th, 2001, and it focuses on the very diverse lives for four different preteenagers: Sergio, Will, Naheed, and Aimee. These four students are all strangers; strangers whose lives all have their own heartaches and challenges. They don’t even know each other exist, but soon all their lives are about to change forever. They just don’t know it yet.


I would recommend this story as an introduction for any student that is curious about September 11th, 2001. It communicates the message that every American’s life was impacted and changed by this tragedy. It transfers the story in a manner that is understandable for a student that wasn’t around to live through all that transpired.  


nine, ten is a gentle novel that provides a clear understanding of how the entire world halted when those towers fell down. Yet, it still provides a sensitive barrier to the violence and terror that exists.


I appreciated how it told the message clearly, but it simultaneously spared young readers graphic images that they may not be prepared yet to fully comprehend. I would absolutely be comfortable handing this book to any fourth grader in my classroom. It was written very appropriately for this target age group.

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