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The Red Bandanna: A Life. A Choice. A Legacy.

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,411 ratings  ·  366 reviews
The inspirational story of Welles Crowther, whose decision, determination and sacrifice in the terror of 9/11 have inspired millions, and whose short life offers a lasting lesson on character, calling, and courage--in how we live, and in the legacy we choose to leave behind
When Welles Crowther was a young boy in Nyack, NY, his father gave him a red handkerchief to keep i
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Penguin Press
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Red Bandanna
A Life. A Choice. A Legacy
Tom Rinaldi

MY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️▫️
PUBLISHER Penguin Press
PUBLISHED September 6, 2016

A powerful and thought-provoking story of what one man did in the last hour of his life.

Welles Crowther always carried a red bandanna in his back pocket, it was his signature. His father had given him a red bandanna when Welles was just a young boy and told him to always keep in handy. When he worked as a researcher on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is not an easy read. It is, however, one of the most inspiring books I've ever read. I bought the book in early September but purposely put off beginning it until Friday, September 9 because I wanted it fresh in my mind on the anniversary of 9/11. It will be fresh in my mind for a long, long time.

From the time he was in preschool, Welles Remy Crowther wanted to be a fireman. He was four years old when he received a blazing red ride-on fire truck from his grandparents for Christmas. When he
Most reviews for this book will say it is inspirational, and I certainly agree. Being a parent, it was difficult to read at times. Losing a child - I can't even imagine. Welles made the ultimate sacrifice to help others and his story, as well as the other victims', was tragic but needs to be heard.

I listened to the book which was narrated by the author. I thought he did a great job.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
For some reason, the writing just felt forced, hollow. Maybe the book just seemed to capitalize on a tragedy? The story could have been compelling, and I'm impressed with Welles's actions, but this book was disappointing to read. ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 - loved the inspiring story didn't always love the writing style. ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
this story was really inspiring and emotional, but the writing style just wasn’t my jam

2.5/5 🌟
Kristen Freiburger
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book reminded me of attending the symphony. Like the symphony you surround yourself with the sounds and emotions. You are a spectator, surrendering and observing. A piece of music or sometimes even a single note can leave you breathless, soaring so high with tears brimming your eyes while the very next note drops you from the sky and plunges you into your envisioned hell. This book is like that. It’s about 9/11, hell. It’s about a family’s love, soaring. It’s about unspeakable loss ...more
Bob Baen
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
All of us, young and old, need to hear about selfless heroes like Welles Crowther. His life attitude and heroism on 9/11 were such outstanding examples of the way we should all approach our lives. He looked for no accolades or recognition. He just wanted to serve others and do what he knew was right, even though he knew very well that it may cost him his life. His life was cut short way too soon. Few of us would contribute as much as he did, even if we lived a thousand years.
I highly recommend t
Karen Celano
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This book tells the story of Welles Crowther, a 24-year-old man who, on September 11, 2001, began his day as an equities trader at the World Trade Center and ended it as part of the FDNY rescue team. Unfortunately his life also ended that day, but not before he led several other people out of the towers to safety. In The Red Bandanna, Tom Rinaldi recounts Crowther's childhood and adolescence, reading the past through the lens of the present, trying to find hints and clues in Crowther's youth of ...more
Dundee Library
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of Welles Crowther, a young man working on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11. The horror of that day's events is shared through the grief of his parents. Anyone old enough to remember that day can get a whole new perspective from this book. The pain of those parents is unimaginable. Initially they, along with many other families with loved ones in the towers, have no idea if he survived. After several weeks, they come to the conclusion ...more
Kathleen Kline
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio version of this book read by the author. I liked the book and the writing, but I did wish that someone else had read it. The book definitely took me back to 9/11 and all the feelings that surrounded that. At the same time, it helped me to understand more fully what it was like for those who were there, whether they were victims or responders or family members. I often had tears in my eyes. The first third of the book was a bit boring for me but I know it was useful for se ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary-nf, 9-11
As some of you may know I have been touched, deeply, by the story of this brave man, the Man in the red Bandanna, since my youngest graduated from Boston College in 2010.

I have never been able to relate the story of the courage of this young man without breaking down to some degree. I received this book for Christmas and I urge all my friends to read it, to Google "The Man in the Red bandanna" ESPN short (14 min) film and to learn what Welles Remy Crowther did on that fateful Tuesday morning
Karen Davis schwarz
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's taken me 18 years to be able to want to read any books about 9/11. It took me a long time to read this as I could only handle it in short doses. But it was so worth it. Well written and gave me a little more understanding. ...more
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 stars for the book, 5 stars for the subject of the book.
Linda Lipko
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recently, I watched the 9/11 dedication of the beautiful tribute to those who perished in the terroristic bombing of the twin towers in New York City.

At the dedication former President Barrack Obama spoke of Wells Crowther, a young man who made the choice to help others, and lost his own life in return.

The mother of Wells Crowther spoke of her son, accompanied on the stage by a woman whose life her son saved. She was there to thank Wells mother, because she could not thank Wells.

Intrigued, I im
Joanne Clarke Gunter
Apparently I haven't cried enough recently, so I read another book about 9/11 and the heroic actions of courageous people. This book is about Welles Crowther the man who became famous for repeatedly going back up those stairs of the South Tower of the WTC to try and save people. Even though in the chaos the people he saved did not know his name, they did remember that he wore a red bandanna over his face to protect himself from the smoke. This was a bandanna that his father gave him as a young b ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lyrically beautiful read about a brutally devastating subject, this book is the summer reading choice for Austin Prep in both this edition as well as the YA version for the middle schoolers. It shines a light on the journey of Welles Crowther, who, at 24, made a choice to help others rather than running to his own safety during the horror of the South Tower falling on 9/11. With information compiled from many sources, including his family and friends, this book gives an unforgettable perspecti ...more
Christina Stroff
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
It is difficult to give stars to a book about a hero. I have only read one other book about 9/11 and would love to read more to hear about the men and women who saved, survived, and/or sacrificed their lives for others so we never forget their honor and memory. I will never look at a red bandanna and not think of Welles and his selflessness to save strangers. Now I also know there is a CrossFit hero wod in his honor, The Man in the Red Bandanna, which I will have to do the next 9/11.
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Listened via audible - read by Tom Rinaldi - I just love his voice.

So, I learned about this story years and years ago from a friend who knew Wells at BC. When this friend and I traveled together to NYC, we found his name on the wall at the Trade Center Memorial and I learned a little bit more about Wells. When Tom Rinaldi came to speak at an event I was going to - I felt like I should read the book even though I thought I pretty much knew the story already.

This was a book club selection and so I
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: astoria-7-2017
Summary: Welles Crowther was a recent college graduate working in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He spent the final minutes of his life saving others from the World Trade Center, sacrificing his own in the process.

Appeal: I rarely come across a book that reads this smoothly for young readers in concept, execution, and writing style. The story is compelling and the writing is brisk. I can totally tell that Tom Rinaldi is used to writing and working on TV, because he’s careful about
I needed an easy read on the plane type of story (and yes, I realize the weirdness of reading a book about September 11 while flying on a plane) and this book fit the bill. It talks about Welles and who he was in his short 24 years on earth and then it goes into the people, community and events that occurred after his death. I will admit that sometimes the author talked a lot about people that didn't have any interaction with Welles (mostly people working on the other floors of the South Tower) ...more
Scott Dieterle
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a narrative of the life of Welles Crowther. Welles was only 24 when he lost his life in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. His though is an inspirational story of someone who sacrificed himself to save others. Forever remembered as the man who wore the "red bandana" as he helped rescue many from his building. A worthwhile read and a story to pass along for others to learn from. ...more
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping documentary

I liked the flow of the book from telling the life stories that made up the personality and choices of the young man, Welles, to the rapid drama of 9/11 followed by the unfolding grief, legacy and inspiration of that personality and those choices.
The true story brought me to uncharacteristic tears!
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
An articulate view into the life of Welles, "The Red Bandanna" serves as a heroic tribute to a heroic figure. Filled with memories and triumphs, the book is emotionally fulfilling from cover to cover. ...more
Lizzie Hoist
May 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
It is a great story of a great man. The problem is the writing made it very boring and took 2 pages to introduce characters that didn't add to the story. I may not have liked this book but I love Welles Crowther's story. ...more
Susan Lindemulder
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Moving story about the sacrifice some people are willing to make for others.
Erin Pallas
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heart wrenching, inspiring, and a beautiful story!! ❤️
Catye Palomino
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stories about historical tragedies can often feel overdone, but when individual, personal, true stories come from those, I CANNOT GET ENOUGH! I loved this.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A well written and profoundly moving tribute.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review contains some spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I found The Red Bandanna: A Life. A Choice. A Legacy. by Tom Rinadi to be an extremely well written and thought provoking novel. The book follows the life of Welles Crowther, who died in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. The novel is broken up into three parts. The first part of the book covers Crowthers childhood up until the day of September 11th. The second part of the book captures the events on the day of 9/11 and some of
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