Nine, Ten

By Nora Raleigh Baskin,

Book cover of Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story

Book description

From the critically acclaimed author of Anything But Typical comes a "tense...and thought-provoking" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) look at the days leading up to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and how that day impacted the lives of four middle schoolers.

Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Nine, Ten as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This novel follows four adolescents in the 48 hours preceding September 11, 2001.

The characters are two girls and two boys living in different parts of the United States in very different families. By fully depicting the lives of each character before the world abruptly changed, Baskin shows us how a watershed event changes one’s perspective forever.

My favorite moment comes at the end when a character remembers “that day, a year ago, when nothing else was important to her except fitting in.” Without violence or direct loss to the main characters, Baskin brings home the point that September 11th…

From Jacqueline's list on for ages 8 to 12 about September 11th.

Although the book falls under the Juvenile Literature section, it is equally suitable for adults for its poignant handling of how four children’s lives were immutably changed by 9/11. 

The portrayal of the middle-schoolers basking in the glory of their ‘wonder years’ in the hours leading up to the terrible day is fleshed out beautifully. The calamitous events mark the end of innocence for them. What they, and the reader, get coming out of it are learnings about bravery, community, belonging, destiny, faith, and tolerance.

Their diverse threads intersect in the end as they come together as apprehensive, but proud,…

Nora’s book expands the story of 9/11 by going backward. Set in the days preceding the attacks, the book follows the lives of four boys and girls of varying means and ethnicities scattered around the country, as their seemingly disconnected lives are about to surprisingly intersect on this fateful day. 

I love how the book captures the innocence of that pregnant moment but also how the story focuses on what emerged from that tragedy: empathy, connection, humanity. Unfolding in the shadow of what we know is coming, the book is foreboding without being heavy, works best when kids already have…

From Tom's list on books for kids about 9/11.

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