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America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2011, The Day the Towers Fell

by Don Brown

Published by Flash Point / Roaring Brook Press, 2011
64 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59643-694-7

Age 8 and older

Podcast featuring this book

The events of September 11, 2001, unfold in Don Brown’s stirring picture book account of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93 over Pennsylvania. Brown’s narrative has a notably restrained presentation, but that doesn’t mean it lacks power. He has unearthed stories that convey the scope of the tragedy on an intimate human scale, presenting them in a straightforward manner so that poignancy, heroism, and human decency shines, as in this scene inside the burning North Tower: “Not on the stairs were coworkers Ed Beyea and Abe Zelmanowitz. Beyea was paralyzed and in a wheelchair. . . . Zelmanowitz waited with his friend for rescue. They were eventually joined by Fire Captain William Burke. Together the three waited for available rescue workers to carry Beyea down.” Of course, those rescue workers never made it to them before the building collapsed. Brown’s illustrations are also remarkable, full of ever-changing perspectives that not only convey dramatic scenes such as a plane heading toward the Twin Towers, another angling in low toward the Pentagon, and billowing pillows and plumes of smoke and dust, but also depict over and over again the response of people caught up in or witnessing the events, showing their shock, fear, and despair but also countless moments of dignity, decency, and bravery. An author’s note summarizing the events of 9/11 and the losses that day, a bibliography, and source notes conclude this essential volume designed to help children today understand the scope of what happened on that day that the adults in their lives will never forget. (MS) ©2011 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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