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America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell
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America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  778 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
One of School Library Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of 2011
One of Horn Book's Best Nonfiction Books of 2011

On the ten year anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, a straightforward and sensitive book for a generation of readers too young to remember that terrible day.

The events of September 11, 2001 changed the world forever. In the fourth installment of the Actual Time
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Flash Point
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Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it

How does a country deal with tragedy? How do parents and teachers explain unfathomable events to children? Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, many adults attempted to shield children from seeing the images of the planes flying into the towers. We turned off the news when footage was broadcast, and we avoided discussing the events in the presence of our kids. The country was on edge, and we didn't want to scare our children.

Literature is an ef
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Yikes. Obviously, America is Under Attack touches upon some very scary, and very real, situations surrounding the 9-11 attacks. It was pretty hard to read, even though this is a simplified and more "friendly" recount of the tragedy, meant for children.

I have not read any other books from Brown's "Actual Times" series about historical events, but I did think this was a good way to tell the story of September 11th -- the tragedy of it, the heroes that sacrificed their own lives to save complete s
This was painful to read even now. I would have a tough time reading this aloud to a group of students without becoming emotional, but I think Brown did a really nice job of covering the events in a student-friendly way. His illustrations were also VERY well-done. I liked that he focused on stories of several individuals. Reading this made me want to find and read other books in the "Actual Times" series.

This was a Grand Canyon Reader Award nominee for 2015.
An excellent account of the events immediately before, during, and after the September 11th terrorist attack on the US. Don Brown weaves together factual information and people's first hand accounts into a powerful narrative for younger readers.

A concise first look at the events on that terrible day.
Edward Sullivan
An excellent chronicle of the tragic day for readers too young to remember or not yet born. I especially like the focus on individual victims and survivors. Vivid, emotional and powerful.
Erin Buhr
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Straight forward and honest, this is a great book to share with kids learning about what happened on 9/11.
Rachel Bormann
Audience: primary

Genre: America is Under Attack fits is part of the nonfiction genre. It depicts the tragic events and informs readers about the terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Award: School Library Journal Best Nonfiction: 2011

America is Under Attack is intended to provide young readers with an understanding of the terrorist attacks that have greatly impacted the United States. The events that transpired on September 11, 2001 can be quite difficult for students to u
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reading
This short picture book tells the story of the attacks on September 11th. Because we've made it to a time when our young people don't understand what happened that day, books like this are essential. The illustrations are watercolor and line drawings, nothing too drastic for young readers. There's obviously more to share about 9/11 but this book is a good start for children.
538 PM Jeremy Kossak
America Under Attack is a powerful retelling of the events of the terrorist attacks that took place that fateful morning of September 11th, 2001. Even today, the terrorist attacks on New York are not easy to discuss. I was shocked and amazed at what this book accomplished in 64 pages. This book is intended for the elementary grades, however middle school students can also learn a lot about this day. Readers will also understand the feeling of great loss and sacrifice endured by the victims of th ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book does not inform children about the whole political issues around the violence between United States and the Middle East. What is more, it portrays Al Qaeda agents as "deadly" hijackers who are madly hateful for no special reason. To me, the most shocking phrase in the book is this one: "among their ordinary passengers were nineteen deadly men. They were followers of Osama Bin Laden, leader of an organization known as Al-Qaeda. The group hated America's power and influence." Hopefully s ...more
Heather Pool
This book can be for anyone and for grades third through fifth. The audience is really for anyone. This book is a story about the world trade centers and the pentagon on 9/11. It was very factual but also had somewhat of a story. For example, it introduced a few characters (real people) and what happened to them but mostly the book was about what happened that day and why it is important. I thought this book was very factual on what happened and I actually learned a few things in the process! I ...more
Lisa Vegan
This is a good book for educating children (ages 9 through 13) about what happened on 9/11. Its strengths are telling the stories of specific individuals, including many of the rescuers, and the lovely watercolor paintings.

Some background is definitely given, so some of the big picture does come across. But, I’d say this book should not be the only book used to learn about the events that took place on 9/11. There are a lot of statistics given though, lots of numbers.

Alternately heartbreaking a
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
At the tenth anniversary of September 11, the question arises, how do we talk to children about what happened that day. The children I work with weren't even born when it happened. How do we help students understand the event without giving more detail than is appropriate. Don Brown has answered that question beautifully. He gives the basic string of events, but he also humanizes the story by quoting and telling the experiences of some of those who were there that day. The illustrations provide ...more
Megan Wismer
Audience: 3rd-6th Grade
Genre: Non fiction
Blooms Questions:
Remembering- Can you tell me three events that happened on September 11, 2001?
Understanding- Describe what people realized after the second plane hit?
Applying- What questions would you ask if you could question one of the passengers in the 4th plane, that crashed into the Pennsylvania field?
Analyzing- How would you compare the firefighters attitude and outlook going up the starts to the office workers going down?
Evaluating- Justify the re
This was remarkable. Of course, for adults at least, it is a review of events none of us will forget. But this is written for children who are too young to remember 9/11. Without any sensationalism, remarkable in itself, it simply but not simplistically tells what happened that day. The pictures are dramatic, but again, not sensational. The two, text and illustration, work together perfectly. This got lots of talk when first published and was by far the best of the 9/11 books I found for childre ...more
Brandi Smith
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This nonfiction picturebook was recognized as one of The School Library Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of 2011. It chronicles the events that took plae on the morning of September 11,2001. The target audience for this book is children 8-12 years old(I).
I gave this book 4 stars. The author recounts the events of 9/11 in a way that is serious but not intimidating. He gives just the right amount of detail to inform the young reader without making him fearful. The color palette used in the illustra
I had to take a break from reading this because it affected me so much. I wonder how kids reading this will feel. The students I teach are not old enough to remember this day and soon, I will be teaching students who won't have been alive on this day.

This moving account of that fateful day in September weaves between matter-of-fact prose and emotional, personal stories of survivors and those who perished. The one thing I would have liked was to tell some personal stories of the people who storm
Michele Knott
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book to give to children to understand the events of 9.11. The book explains the events well, and does not leave out some of the darkest moments. Young readers may need an adult to help guide and discuss with them as they read, while older readers will need less guidance. A hard book to read about a very important day in our history. Don Brown, as usual, does a great job including his notes, sources and quotes.
Adrienne Furness
This is the book about 9/11 that my library's needed all these years--straightforward, factual, sensitive, and including the stories of actual people. This will be a useful and important book for kids for a long time to come.
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Picked this up to share with my 5th graders who weren't even born on 9/11. Very accessible for them.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I had shivers reading this story and remembering that morning.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Don Brown is the best!
Cole Bearrow
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-3090-11-20


Don Brown's book provides a realistic view of one of the worst days in American history, September 11th 2001.


Pictures that are not too dramatic to show to young children but still realistic enough for them to understand the tragedy. To the point writing style that works well with this type of story.

Teaching Ideas

Great book to read to your class on September 11th as a read aloud to show them the history of our country.
Rebecca Plaza
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, 9-11
I have like so much how this bookmaker has thoughtfully told and illustrated dramatic historical event and wanted to check this out too. It does the job very well.
Alexa Mazur
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Many people remember that awful day. The day America changed forever. September 11, 2001 was a day that many people that were alive to witness, will never forget. September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell, is a book that takes us all back to that dreadful day. This book addresses things that parents may have a difficult time discussing with their children. The topics of death and heroism are two topics that this book mainly focuses on. The beautiful exuberant pictures in this book, make it eas ...more
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Audience: Juvenile, ages 6 and up
Genre: Non-Fiction
Format: Picture Book

Non-Fiction E-Book downloaded from America is Under Attack:September 11, 2001
I really liked how the pictures portrayed the emotion that was felt by all Americans who experienced this horrible event. The text is written in such simple terms for younger readers to understand what did occur on September 11th. The reader is able to experience the event as it is being read to them or as they read it independently.

Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Yikes. Obviously, America is Under Attack touches upon some very scary, and very real, situations surrounding the 9-11 attacks. It was pretty hard to read, even though this is a simplified and more "friendly" recount of the tragedy, meant for children.

I have not read any other books from Brown's "Actual Times" series about historical events, but I did think this was a good way to tell the story of September 11th -- the tragedy of it, the heroes that sacrificed their own lives to save complete s
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
Audience: Primary (K-3)
Genre: Informational Picture Book

Twin Text: The Little Chapel That Stood by A.B Curtiss
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"Beautifully illustrated book tells of the historic chapel less than 100 yards from the Twin Towers that miraculously survived on 9-11. Firemen hung their shoes on the fence and raced to help the people in the towers: Oh what gallant men did we lose/Who never came back to get their shoes. The story of terror overcome by courage and bravery that teaches us no one
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
There were several thoughts that ran through my head upon discovering this book. The first thought was “isn’t it too soon?”

However, I soon realized that the events of 9/11 happened over a decade ago, and most 6-10 year olds (the audience for this book) will have no personal recollection of them.

My second thought was, “is this really a subject a 6-10 year old should be reading?”

Unfortunately, I think that it is. Our world completely changed on 9/11, and these tragic events were the catalyst for t
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, kids, ala, arc
This is an excellent book about 9/11, written for kids ages 8-12 but appropriate for a wider range. The writing is clear and concise, with a straightforward feel. For the most part, the text is factual, rather than emotional. (Example: "With knives, pepper spray, and threats of bombs, they stormed the four airliner cockpits and wrested control away from the pilots. The jets were no longer just ordinary airplanes; they were weapons. The planes banked away from their planned flight paths and heade ...more
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Info on the book 1 2 Apr 19, 2014 09:24AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him "a current pac
More about Don Brown...