76 books like The Memory of Things

By Gae Polisner,

Here are 76 books that The Memory of Things fans have personally recommended if you like The Memory of Things. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Tom Rogers Author Of Eleven

From my list on books for kids about 9/11.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a screenwriter and novelist who loves writing stories for kids! (And long-suffering parents.) I mostly write and produce animated movies and TV shows, am currently executive producer of The Chicken Squad for Disney, and won an Emmy® Award for children’s TV writing in 2020. A few years ago, my nephew stopped me in my tracks with a question: “Uncle T, what’s the big deal about 9/11?” His confusion opened my eyes to the fact that many schools don’t teach about this momentous event. “Never forget” has been our national refrain, but how will future generations remember if we don’t tell them the story? 

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

Tom Rogers Why did Tom love this book?

For those of us who lived through 9/11, it’s easy to forget that kids in school today weren’t even born in 2001; to them, the events of 9/11 are ancient history. I Survived is the kind of book that can jump-start their interest by dropping them right into the thick of the events of that day. Lucas is a football-obsessed teen who makes a series of completely relatable bad decisions that leave him right at Ground Zero just as the planes hit the towers. Told in age-appropriate but heart-stopping detail, this book captures a perfect snapshot of the confusion, fear, heroism, and resolve on display that extraordinary day. 

By Lauren Tarshis, Scott Dawson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

On the day that shocks the world, one boy just wants to find his family. A powerful addition to the gripping I Survived series.

The only thing Lucas loves more than football is his Uncle Benny, his dad's best friend at the fire department where they both work. Benny taught Lucas everything about football. So when Lucas's parents decide the sport is too dangerous and he needs to quit, Lucas has to talk to his biggest fan.So the next morning, Lucas takes the train to the city instead of the bus to school. It's a bright, beautiful day in New…


Book cover of Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story

Jacqueline Jules Author Of Smoke at the Pentagon: Poems to Remember

From my list on for ages 8 to 12 about September 11th.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of over fifty books for young readers including the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, My Name is Hamburger, Never Say a Mean Word Again, and Tag Your Dreams: Poems of Play and Persistence. On September 11, 2001, I was living in Arlington, Virginia and working as a librarian. Like anyone else who lived through that tragic day, September 11th evokes strong memories for me. Yet I know that subsequent generations have little knowledge of that day, even those who live in Arlington, where the Pentagon is located.  By recognizing the wounds of the past, we can help young readers understand the present. 

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

Jacqueline Jules Why did Jacqueline love this book?

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 affected Americans from all across the country.

In the face of tragedy, Baskin shows us how we are all interconnected.

By Nora Raleigh Baskin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Nine, Ten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

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 lovely, a perfect day-until a plane struck the World Trade Center.

But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he…


Book cover of Just a Drop of Water

Tom Rogers Author Of Eleven

From my list on books for kids about 9/11.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a screenwriter and novelist who loves writing stories for kids! (And long-suffering parents.) I mostly write and produce animated movies and TV shows, am currently executive producer of The Chicken Squad for Disney, and won an Emmy® Award for children’s TV writing in 2020. A few years ago, my nephew stopped me in my tracks with a question: “Uncle T, what’s the big deal about 9/11?” His confusion opened my eyes to the fact that many schools don’t teach about this momentous event. “Never forget” has been our national refrain, but how will future generations remember if we don’t tell them the story? 

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

Tom Rogers Why did Tom love this book?

As Nora Baskin’s book takes us backward in time, Kerry moves forward to capture the mood of the country after the attacks, as told through the eyes of a twelve-year-old boy whose best friend becomes the target of anti-Muslim rage. Like Alex in my book, protagonist Jake Green grapples with intense feelings of anger, confusion, and frustration as he tries to figure out how to be a patriot and what it means to be a hero, when everything he thought he understood about how the world should work has been shattered. I struggled with the same things after 9/11—still do, to be honest—and enjoyed this page-turner for both its gripping plot and its challenging moral complexity.

By Kerry O'Malley Cerra,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just a Drop of Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Crystal Kite Award, this touching story explores what it mean to be a good friend, how you should react to a bully, and makes the events of September 11th, 2001 personal.

In this story about growing up in a difficult part of America's history, Jake Green is introduced as a cross country runner who wants to be a soldier and an American hero when he grows up.

Before he can work far towards these goals, September 11th happens, and it is discovered that one of the hijackers lives in Jake's town. The children in Jake's town try…


Book cover of Talking Texts: A Teachers' Guide to Book Clubs across the Curriculum

Tom Rogers Author Of Eleven

From my list on books for kids about 9/11.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a screenwriter and novelist who loves writing stories for kids! (And long-suffering parents.) I mostly write and produce animated movies and TV shows, am currently executive producer of The Chicken Squad for Disney, and won an Emmy® Award for children’s TV writing in 2020. A few years ago, my nephew stopped me in my tracks with a question: “Uncle T, what’s the big deal about 9/11?” His confusion opened my eyes to the fact that many schools don’t teach about this momentous event. “Never forget” has been our national refrain, but how will future generations remember if we don’t tell them the story? 

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

Tom Rogers Why did Tom love this book?

Nothing brings a classroom alive like an engaged and enthusiastic teacher! The best ones know how to guide their students into the heart of a text to make discoveries and connections on their own. I have done hundreds of school visits (virtual and in-person), and I love watching kids beam with pride as they reveal something they’ve learned from reading my book or come to a revelation through our chat. 

Lesley Roessing’s book is not a work of fiction – but it’s an invaluable tool to help teachers guide young readers through the books on this list. The final section of the book is a sample 9/11 book club using all the books on my list (and many more). Any teacher drawn to this list would be well-served by Lesley’s insightful lesson plans.

By Lesley Roessing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Talking Texts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Talking Texts is a guide for teachers to the steps and strategies of implementing text clubs in many forms- fiction and nonfiction book clubs, textbook clubs, article clubs, and even poetry clubs-in the classroom. All strategies presented are applicable to any discipline so that text clubs can be employed across the curriculum in any grade level.


Book cover of Towers Falling

Jacqueline Jules Author Of Smoke at the Pentagon: Poems to Remember

From my list on for ages 8 to 12 about September 11th.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of over fifty books for young readers including the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, My Name is Hamburger, Never Say a Mean Word Again, and Tag Your Dreams: Poems of Play and Persistence. On September 11, 2001, I was living in Arlington, Virginia and working as a librarian. Like anyone else who lived through that tragic day, September 11th evokes strong memories for me. Yet I know that subsequent generations have little knowledge of that day, even those who live in Arlington, where the Pentagon is located.  By recognizing the wounds of the past, we can help young readers understand the present. 

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

Jacqueline Jules Why did Jacqueline love this book?

Towers Falling takes place in New York City fifteen years after the terrorist attacks.

Fifth grader Deja has no idea what happened in 2001 or the impact it has had on the present. When her teacher begins a unit on September 11th, Deja’s father becomes angry. He doesn’t want Deja to know what happened to the Twin Towers. With the help of classmates, Deja unravels the history of her city and her family.

The perspective of a child learning about the September 11th attacks from the distance of time is made all the more powerful by Deja’s personal circumstances, living in a homeless shelter with an ailing father. This is a poignant story with a strong main character learning to live with the past and move forward. 

By Jewell Parker Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Towers Falling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can't help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?

Award-winning author Jewell…


Book cover of Ordinary Heroes: A Memoir of 9/11

Joe Calderone Author Of Don't Look Back: The 343 FDNY Firefighters Killed on 9-11 and the Fight for the Truth

From my list on the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the FDNY response.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a reporter for the New York Daily News at the time of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and covered the FDNY in the aftermath of 9/11. Being on the site the day after the attack and following the recovery efforts, I came to know some of the FDNY family members who lost loved ones that day, as well as members of the department, as they struggled to rebuild. The family members’ stories stayed with me long after the attack. I always felt that the story of what happened to the FDNY members killed that day and the story of their family members who wanted answers had not been fully told.

Joe's book list on the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the FDNY response

Joe Calderone Why did Joe love this book?

Chief Pfeifer was the first ranking officer to arrive at the World Trade Center on the morning of the attack. He was in the area to investigate a report of a gas leak when he saw a plane crash into the North Tower.

He was being followed by a film crew for an unrelated documentary. The film footage shows him in the WTC lobby as he tries to determine what is going on and as he and others begin the rescue operation that would engulf virtually the entire FDNY and turn tragic when the Twin Towers collapsed.

This book takes you beyond the news coverage and provides a first-hand account from a ranking FDNY member who was on the scene. 

By Joseph Pfeifer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ordinary Heroes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller

From the first FDNY chief to respond to the 9/11 attacks, an intimate memoir and a tribute to those who died that others might live

When Chief Joe Pfeifer led his firefighters to investigate an odor of gas in downtown Manhattan on the morning of 9/11, he had no idea that his life was about to change forever. A few moments later, he watched as the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. Pfeifer, the closest FDNY chief to the scene, spearheaded rescue efforts on one of the darkest days in American history.

Ordinary Heroes…


Book cover of Strong of Heart: Life and Death in the Fire Department of New York

Joe Calderone Author Of Don't Look Back: The 343 FDNY Firefighters Killed on 9-11 and the Fight for the Truth

From my list on the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the FDNY response.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a reporter for the New York Daily News at the time of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and covered the FDNY in the aftermath of 9/11. Being on the site the day after the attack and following the recovery efforts, I came to know some of the FDNY family members who lost loved ones that day, as well as members of the department, as they struggled to rebuild. The family members’ stories stayed with me long after the attack. I always felt that the story of what happened to the FDNY members killed that day and the story of their family members who wanted answers had not been fully told.

Joe's book list on the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the FDNY response

Joe Calderone Why did Joe love this book?

The author is the former FDNY Commissioner during 9/11 who provides an honest account of his time in the FDNY, starting as a firefighter in the Bronx in the 1970s, rising to lead the firefighters union and then the department when former Mayor Rudy Giuliani picked him to be the FDNY Commissioner. 

He pulls no punches and examines the challenges the department faced before and during 9/11, including his own role. I liked the book because it is an authentic account from somewhere who was there on 9/11 and who knows the FDNY inside and out.

By Thomas Von Essen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strong of Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York City's thirtieth Fire Commissioner shares his personal experiences during and after the September 11 attacks, from his work beside Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, to his remembrance of lost colleagues and friends. 125,000 first printing.


Book cover of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Rohit Prasad Author Of The Pilgrim: Inferno Redux

From my list on the aftermath of 9/11 on people’s everyday lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in the US, and particularly lived and worked in New York, for many years. How the events of 9/11 changed the city, its people, and the perceptions of the people all around the country and the world has always intrigued me. 9/11 has put up a prism through which experiences have emanated out in a kaleidoscopic range of stories. A banker by day and a cynical blogger by night, I have traveled the world and have met many interesting people with compelling backgrounds and have experienced many peculiar and beautiful things. I love to explore the confluence of fascinating narrative arcs and life-altering events. 

Rohit's book list on the aftermath of 9/11 on people’s everyday lives

Rohit Prasad Why did Rohit love this book?

A precocious and inquisitive child Oskar goes on a treasure hunt around New York to solve a mystery left behind by his father who had died on 9/11.

In his quest, you see a child seeking to stay close to his father a little while longer. In his streams of consciousness and hyperactive imagination, you feel him trying to fill the void left behind by a supportive father figure.

With the sheer weight of his innocence, he gets strangers to open up to him, let him into their lives, and add to their life stories. In a moving manner, the narrative follows the path that Oskar, his mother and his grandfather take in dealing with trauma and finding closure in their own personal ways.

By Jonathan Safran Foer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

ADAPTED INTO A FEATURE FILM WITH TOM HANKS

From the critically acclaimed author of Here I Am, Everything is Illuminated and We are the Weather - a heartrending and unforgettable novel set in the aftermath of the 9/11

'Utterly engaging, hugely involving, tragic, funny and intensely moving... A heartbreaker' Spectator

'The most incredible fictional nine-year-old ever created... a funny, heart-rending portrayal of a child coping with disaster. It will have you biting back the tears' Glamour

'Pulsates with dazzling ideas' Times Literary Supplement

'It's a miracle... So impeccably imagined, so courageously executed, so everlastingly moving' Baltimore Sun…


Book cover of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11

Joe Calderone Author Of Don't Look Back: The 343 FDNY Firefighters Killed on 9-11 and the Fight for the Truth

From my list on the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the FDNY response.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a reporter for the New York Daily News at the time of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and covered the FDNY in the aftermath of 9/11. Being on the site the day after the attack and following the recovery efforts, I came to know some of the FDNY family members who lost loved ones that day, as well as members of the department, as they struggled to rebuild. The family members’ stories stayed with me long after the attack. I always felt that the story of what happened to the FDNY members killed that day and the story of their family members who wanted answers had not been fully told.

Joe's book list on the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the FDNY response

Joe Calderone Why did Joe love this book?

Long before he became a Trump apologist, Rudy Giuliani was regarded by some as “America’s Mayor" in the wake of 9/11.

He led the city’s response to the World Trade Center attack, and in the view of many, he provided strong leadership in that crucial time, marshaling the city’s resources during the search, recovery, rescue, and beginning of the clean-up process. He attended what seemed like an endless stream of funerals for FDNY and NYPD members who were killed on 9/11, eulogizing the city’s dead heroes.

Barrett and Collins – two skilled NYC reporters – dive deep into the failings of the Giuliani mayoral administration that may have contributed to the loss of life among first responders that fateful day, including the well-documented problems with FDNY radios that hampered the efforts to evacuate FDNY members before the Twin Towers collapsed.

By Wayne Barrett, Dan Collins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grand Illusion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rudy Giuliani emerged from the smoke of 9/11 as the unquestioned hero of the day: America's Mayor, the father figure we could all rely on to be tough, to be wise, to do the right thing. In that uncertain time, it was a comfort to know that he was on the scene and in control, making the best of a dire situation.

But was he really?

Grand Illusion is the definitive report on Rudy Giuliani's role in 9/11—the true story of what happened that day and the first clear-eyed evaluation of Giuliani's role before, during, and after the disaster.

While…


Book cover of This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth

Jacqueline Jules Author Of Smoke at the Pentagon: Poems to Remember

From my list on for ages 8 to 12 about September 11th.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of over fifty books for young readers including the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, My Name is Hamburger, Never Say a Mean Word Again, and Tag Your Dreams: Poems of Play and Persistence. On September 11, 2001, I was living in Arlington, Virginia and working as a librarian. Like anyone else who lived through that tragic day, September 11th evokes strong memories for me. Yet I know that subsequent generations have little knowledge of that day, even those who live in Arlington, where the Pentagon is located.  By recognizing the wounds of the past, we can help young readers understand the present. 

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

Jacqueline Jules Why did Jacqueline love this book?

The September 11th terrorist attack is a difficult history to introduce.

Picture books can be a good way to start the conversation, especially with 8 and 9-year-olds. In This Very Tree, Sean Rubin broaches the topic through a remarkable Callery pear tree in the Twin Towers plaza which survived the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Rubin’s poignant artwork conveys both the destruction of that terrible day in New York City and the rebuilding efforts afterwards. Informative and lengthy back matter provides more information to complement the brief illustrated text. This picture book leaves the reader with an ultimately hopeful outlook of resilience and renewal. 

By Sean Rubin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Very Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A deeply moving story about community and resilience, from the point-of-view of the Callery pear tree that survived the attacks on September 11, from Eisner Award-nominated author-illustrator Sean Rubin.

* "A resonant, beautifully rendered testament to life and renewal." ―Kirkus, starred review

In the 1970s, nestled between the newly completed Twin Towers in New York City, a Callery pear tree was planted. Over the years, the tree provided shade for people looking for a place to rest and a home for birds, along with the first blooms of spring.

On September 11, 2001, everything changed. The tree’s home was destroyed,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in September 11th, Brooklyn, and California?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about September 11th, Brooklyn, and California.

September 11th Explore 68 books about September 11th
Brooklyn Explore 105 books about Brooklyn
California Explore 371 books about California