Librarian Musings – September 11th & I Survived Series

7 Sep

booksfan_v3_0115c994a3I had a really interesting conversation with a co-worker who the same age as me about the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis.  I’ve read one or two and can barely keep them on my library shelves as the kids are absolutely devouring them (along with the Who Was series) which goes to show just how much kids are interested in history and biographies when written in a way that is exciting and accessible.

My co-worker and I were saying that it was an interesting concept, but we both reacted very similarly to the title about September 11th.  When I saw it was published it made me pause, not because I don’t think kids need to know about the horrific events of that day, but I think more so because it’s still such a vivid memory to me and to the kids reading these books – it’s almost the same as the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Challenger explosion – it’s history not an experience.

Like most adults, it’s an experience that I will never forgot on a sunny, beautiful day in September.  I was sitting in Physics class waiting for the bell to ring and the teacher turned on the television.  I was old enough that our teachers didn’t hide the news from us that day and I was young enough to understand just how scary the event was and to wonder what would happen next.

But as we come up on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I think it’s important to teach kids about what happened on that day and at the same time teach children that hate and violence are not the answer to the problems of the world.  Kids have questions, it’s our job as the adults in their lives to be able to answer them in a way that is appropriate to each child.

Check out a few other titles written over the past few years about September 11th:

  • Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  • Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón
  • America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell by Don Brown
  • Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai




5 Responses to “Librarian Musings – September 11th & I Survived Series”

  1. Becky @ Disney in your Day September 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    I’ve seen a post going around facebook saying that kids who are now freshman in high school were born after the events of 9/11. Which of course makes logical sense but when you read that it’s just hard to believe. It’s a little crazy to think about because it is still so vivid and does feel like it just happened for us. I’m glad we are able to teach kids about these topics though.

    • Stephanie September 7, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

      I heard the same thing! Like you said, it makes sense considering this year is the 15th anniversary, but still… it’s mind blowing to think these kids weren’t even around at the time. It still does feel like it just happened so that’s why I had such a visceral reaction to hearing that this particular ‘I Survived…’ book was published while other people I spoke to, who were only about 10 years older than me, weren’t really phased by it.
      “Well, it’s just history to our kids now,” was the person’s response, but to me it wasn’t ‘just history.’ It was real and I experienced it.
      That made me wonder how other people feel about books/movies that address traumatic events they lived through, i.e. WWII and the Holocaust. To me it’s history, but for others it wasn’t. I agree that at the very least, it definitely can open good conversation.

  2. Kathleen September 7, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    Thank you for recommending these books. May I suggest JUST A DROP OF WATER, by Kerry O’Malley Cerra (Sky Pony Press 2014). It takes on a different perspective. Two middle grade boys are close friends, one boy is Muslim and the other isn’t. It is a poignant read. The paper back edition comes out on September 11. I always enjoy your posts.

    • literacious September 8, 2016 at 8:14 am #

      Thanks Kathleen, I’ll definitely add Just a Drop of Water to my TBR list.

      • Kathleen September 9, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

        I really believe you’ll like it.😊

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