911: The Book of Help

911: The Book of Help

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by Michael Cart

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In 911: The Book of Help, award-winning writers share their responses to the September 11, 2001 tragedy and describe the heroism of those who first rushed to help. The works in 911 are donated, and 50 percent of the net proceeds will go to a charity assisting children and spouses of victims.


In 911: The Book of Help, award-winning writers share their responses to the September 11, 2001 tragedy and describe the heroism of those who first rushed to help. The works in 911 are donated, and 50 percent of the net proceeds will go to a charity assisting children and spouses of victims.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An impressive cast of more than 20 children's book authors donated work to this highly personal, often affecting roundup of essays, short stories and poems inspired by the events of September 11th. Organized into four sections from "Healing" to "Reacting and Recovering," the pieces range from related events triggered by the New York tragedy to writers' evocations of the horrific images they viewed that morning. Arnold Adoff draws a correlation to King's assassination in Memphis ("Souls rise/ without reason long before their reasonable times"); David Paterson (son of fellow contributor Katherine Paterson) recounts perhaps the most immediate connection to the terrorist attacks as he relates his experience at Ground Zero on September 13 with shovel in hand to help clear the rubble. In a candid entry, Walter Dean Myers recalls watching a Middle Eastern man in London cheering the loss of American lives: "He is my enemy because those who think like he does have brought violence and hatred to my door, and to the doors of those I love." Perhaps Susan Cooper (who heard the roar of a fighter plane in New York City on 9/11 and recalled the bombs that fell on her London neighborhood during WWII) best sums up the collection's underlying message: "But the opposite of terror is hope, and... hope can drive out fear." Other contributors to this strong collection include Avi, Sharon Creech, Nikki Giovanni, Margaret Mahy and Naomi Shihab Nye; Chris Raschka provides an evocative cover and interior pen-and-inks for each section opener. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) FYI: The publisher will contribute a portion of the proceeds of this book to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund.
Children's Literature
Sometimes you have to be hit over the head in order to see the obvious. I had been saying 9/11, but until I saw the title of this book, I didn't connect it with our national help number 911. The premise of this book is to help readers: help them understand what happened, and with the efforts of more than 25 award-winning authors, bring some sense and solace to this national tragedy. After reading the introductory material, it was really wonderful to open the book to read an essay by Katherine Paterson. She always writes and speaks from the heart and it made me feel even prouder of our connection as members of the Children's Book Guild of Washington D.C. On that fateful day I was hosting a Guild "stuffing party" at my home for an announcement about our annual November luncheon, so the horrors and terrors of that day were shared with fellow Guild members. The book is divided into four sections, the first of which deals with healing, the second searching for history (putting 9/11 in the context of a personal past), the third asking "Why?" and finally, selections that relate to reacting and recovering. The words of Susan Cooper in her entry entitled "Sister" stuck with me—"But the opposite of terror is hope, and if the sense of family can remain strong across this country, hope can drive out fear...Alone, we may be afraid. Together, we can have hope." This book is really hard to put down; it will make you think and it encourages discussion. 911: The Book of Help should be read by kids as well as adults, and perhaps it truly can provide some help to all who need it. The ultimate message is that of hope, with emphasis on the basic goodness of people. Note: Part of the proceeds will be donatedto the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. There will also be a teaching guide and one for mental health professionals. 2002, Marcato/Cricket Books,
— Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-A global viewpoint on the September 11 attacks is presented through 25 essays, short stories, and poems divided into four sections: "Healing," "Searching for History," "Asking Why? Why? Why?" and "Reacting and Recovering." Although every entry does not deal with the theme of rebuilding, Katherine Paterson's introductory essay sets a tone of hope. Paterson's son David gives a vivid, textured picture of what it was like to work at Ground Zero less than 48 hours after the attack. Russell Freedman pays tribute to New Yorkers' sense of community and appreciation for the rescue workers who gave their lives. While many of the short pieces offer a sense of hope, much of the poetry will make readers cry. The horror, anger, and pain are given voice, too. Walter Dean Myers's essay is about just that-the anger and frustration engendered by our vulnerability and inability to elicit sympathy from cultures that harbor enmity for America. A call for understanding is evidenced in several pieces. Marion Dane Bauer reminds readers to beware of fear and know that we can change the world one kindness at a time. James Cross Giblin uses Pearl Harbor and the Cuban Missile Crisis to assure readers that, as a nation, we will survive. Naomi Shihab Nye, an Arab-American, says we make sense out of life through words. This volume is a worthy attempt to do so.-Joanne K. Cecere, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The title of this timely anthology emphasizes the connection between the 9-11 terrorist attacks and the 911 emergency assistance phone number, offering both teens and adults thoughtful, provocative literature that may help with preliminary discussions and perspective on this difficult subject. Twenty-five preeminent authors for young adults were invited to contribute to the volume (all donated their work), with a resulting collection of essays, stories, and poems divided into four sections: Healing, Searching for History, Asking Why? Why? Why?, and Reacting and Recovering. Small illustrations by Chris Raschka (painted on Sept. 11) are included with each section. Katherine Paterson's graceful introduction is followed by her son David Paterson's spare, moving essay on his experiences as a volunteer at Ground Zero. Other highlights include a poignant story from Suzanne Fisher Staples set in Pakistan, a perceptive piece by Aronson and Marina Budhos on hatred toward the US, and an unforgettable poem by Sonya Sones titled "Voices." In her essay, poet Naomi Shihab Nye offers this advice: "Use words. It is the most helpful thing I have learned in my life." The powerful words of this volume offer specific ways to look at the attacks: here are other tragedies that have happened in the past, here are heroic people who show the basic core of goodness in humanity, here is the anger, here the fear, here the calm, eventual acceptance of tragic events as part of our world. This should serve a much wider audience than the young adults at whom it is aimed. Portions of it would make an excellent choice in the inevitable memorial services that will be held this September. The entire anthology could serve asthe basis for seminars, writing classes, or even a college course. A teacher's guide will be available online, and a portion of the profits from the anthology will be donated to a scholarship fund for relatives of the victims. (Nonfiction. 12+)

Product Details

Cricket Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.52(d)
1060L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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911: The Book of Help 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book