On this 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States, I don’t actually have too much to say. Every adult in the country can tell you exactly where they were that day and I am sure that some of the teens that I see every day have some vague recollection of that day’s events and the aftermath. The attack that claimed over 3,000 lives was just the first drop that caused an enormous ripple effect. Our landscape was forever altered. Our belief in our security was shaken to the core. Laws were passed, wars were waged and millions of lives were forever changed. War impacts every single person, young and old alike, but it could argued that teens and young adults bear the brunt of the burden. This group of the population is so heavily impacted because it is teens and young adults who are often called upon to serve. And every generation has their war.
My grandfather was 18 when he was shipped off to Germany during WWII.
My uncle was in still in high school when he “won” the draft lottery and was not sent to Vietnam before he had a chance to enroll in college.
I was still in high school when the first Gulf War was broadcast live on television.
The current youth population will continue to serve in the Middle East, in wars that have their roots in 2001.
Despite the enormous impact the events of 9/11 has had on world, there seem to be very few YA books that discuss the issue. Here are a few that I turned up:
Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos offers a look at Muslim families living in post-9/11 America.
Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan offers the reflections of three teens in NYC following the attack.
Time Riders by Alex Scarrow has a group of time traveling teens arrive back in time to relive the 9/11 attacks.
There are a number of recently released teen books that deal with soldiers returning (or not) from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the impact their service has had on themselves and loved one.
Somebody Please, Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer. Haunted by memories of 9/11, high school senior Ben decides to enlist rather than go to college.
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers. Myers portrays the realities of modern war, as seen through the eyes of a young African-American soldier.
In Honor by Jessi Kirby. When Honor receives the news that her brother Finn, a Marine serving in Iraq, has died, she sets out to honor his last request.
Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie. T.J. struggles to make sense of his brother’s death in Iraq.
Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick. Private Matt Duffy is awarded a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq, but he is haunted by memories of the war.
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller. When Travis returns for Afghanistan he doesn’t recognize the life he comes back to.
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson. Quinn is deemed a cheater and shunned in her small military town after she is caught kissing another guy while her boyfriend serves in Afghanistan.
Other 9/11 books include these two graphic novels:
The 9/11 Report: a Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobs. This is exactly what the title states.
The Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan. In 2003 a massive air attack destroyed the Baghdad zoo and a pride of lions escaped. This graphic novel is a fictionalized account of this event.