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When Trying to Explain the Unthinkable


Historians, politicians, and the man-on-the-street are still trying to grasp the events of September 11, 2001— but what of children who have been born since 2001, or the children who were too young on that day to recall ? As New Yorkers prepare to honor the memory of those who died, parents and caregivers may want to visit the WTC Tribute Center, which offers programs and tours at its 120 Liberty Street site, or stop by St. Paul's Chapel at 209 Broadway. In addition, the New-York Historical Society will be offering free admission through November 10 to a special exhibition, Remembering 9/11.

In her new collection of poems, Peaceful Pieces, author Anna Grossnickle Hines holds peace up to a prism as she contemplates its many facets. A few other books that might provide perspective or an opening for discussing the events of that day are:

September Roses by Jeannette Winters. Two sisters from South Africa find a use for the roses they have grown when the flower show is cancelled.


14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah. Maasai tribal members offer 14 sacred cows as a gesture of solace.


Maira Kalman's Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey recounts the service of an aging fireboat, launched in 1931, and its crew on September 11, 2001. This historic vessel is docked at Pier 66 between West 26 and West 27 streets.


Don Brown's America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell is a recounting that is both accessible and compassionate.


The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein recalls Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between the towers.

Peace: A Recipe

Open minds — at least two. / Willing hearts-the same. / Rinse well with compassion. / Stir in a fair amount of trust. / Season with forgiveness. / Simmer in a sauce of respect. / A dash of humor brightens the flavor. / Best served with hope.

— Anna Grossnickle Hines



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A Good Teen Read About 9/11

A great teen book that deals with the aftermath of 911 in the life of a teen is Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger.

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