Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

This year marks the tenth anniversary of New York City’s 9/11 terrorist attack. Where were you when it happened? Like other moments in history, depending on your age, you have a clear answer to questions that mark your place and your reaction – your story. Over 30 novels have been written fictionalizing incidents and lives about that day.

Maira Kalman’s picture book – Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey – tells the true story of an old restored fireboat called back into service on 9/11 when “…the water pipes were broken…fire trucks could not pump water…{and} firefighters attached hoses to the Harvey…”   With some history of New York City before that infamous day, Kalman frames the information about the attack around Harvey’s heroic efforts, fighting the fires …for four days and nights…”   Her pictures use colors and lines to illustrate chaos, while calmly giving the information – an easy way to record the history for inquiring children.

But before the towers fell, a man walked between the towers on a cable – high above the crowds. Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin uses Phillip Petit’s famous highwire walk to tell a modern Canterbury Tales of New York City in 1974 – with ten people who witnessed or were affected by the act. Read my review – and consider reading the book if you haven’t yet.

McCann “uses a common occurrence in an airport to connect the last pieces of the story and rush it forward from the seventies to present day. Phillipe Petit’s famous walk across the wire connecting the two towers was the catalyst that connected loves and life stories that are ongoing.”

Read the review of Let the Great World Spin here