After 9/11: One Girl's Journey through Darkness to a New Beginning

After 9/11: One Girl's Journey through Darkness to a New Beginning


$17.09 $18.99 Save 10% Current price is $17.09, Original price is $18.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 6 days
10 New & Used Starting at $4.65


“You are a herald for your generation....Thank you for using your voice to help us make sense of that dark day, and forge a new beginning.”—Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a letter to Helaina Hovitz

Helaina Hovitz was twelve years old and in middle school just blocks away when the World Trade Center was attacked. Her memoir encapsulates the journey of a girl growing up with PTSD after living through the events firsthand. After 9/11 chronicles its effects on a young girl at the outset of adolescence, following her as she spirals into addiction and rebellion, through loss, chaos, and confusion.

The events of 9/11 were a very real part of Helaina’s life and are still vivid in her memory today. Hundreds were stranded in the neighborhood, including Helaina, without phones or electricity or anyone to help. Fear and despair took over her life. It would take Helaina more than a decade to overcome the PTSD — and subsequent alcohol addiction — that went misdiagnosed and mistreated. In many ways, After 9/11 is the story of a generation growing up in the aftermath of America’s darkest day —and for one young woman, it is the story of a survivor who, after witnessing the end, got to make a new beginning. This new trade paperback edition includes tips on how to cope with trauma, an FAQ section, and a guide to discussing 9/11 with children.

“Inspirational, courageous and beautifully told. After 9/11 is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.” — Cathy Free, correspondent, PEOPLE magazine

“Helaina Hovitz's engrossing narrative begins in the shadow of the twin towers with her as a backpack-toting twelve-year-old and plays out over the next fifteen years in dramatic - and sometimes distressing - detail. This impressive debut is both deeply evocative and intensely personal.” — Peter Canby, Senior Editor, The New Yorker

“A moving and remarkable testament to a time that changed our country, told beautifully by a young woman who never gave up hope that she could reclaim her life, no matter how grim things looked.” — Sean Elder, contributor, Newsweek

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510723757
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Helaina Hovitz is a journalist and editor specializing in positive and inspiring stories. She has written for Glamour, Salon, the New York Times, the New York Observer, VICE, Forbes, Health, Newsday, UpWorthy, Bustle, Teen Vogue, Thrillist, Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, Women’s Health, Prevention, Tasting Table, and many other publications. She still lives in New York City with her husband and their rescue dog, Wiley.

Visit her on Twitter @HelainaHovitz, at, or on Facebook.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

After 9/11: One Girl's Journey through Darkness to a New Beginning 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Maria Bruce More than 1 year ago
Such a powerful and moving story! A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written account of a young women's battle to overcome trauma and how she emerged a stronger person. This book is about optimism, growth, and the pursuit of love, beauty and truth. I can only imagine how it might help someone in the depth of depression and/or addiction, but it's also a way to understand those diseases and how to help those around us. Strongly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Helaina's bravery is startling in this crisply written memoir that takes us to a place we haven't been before. Her voice is that of calm resiliency in the face of unspeakable trauma. Helaina's book paints a picture on a canvas that is stock- one that we think we already "know" intimately from TV and the web or our own memories: the planes strike the towers, the towers fall, dust, death, and war. But trust me, this is a place you would not choose to go. Born of the dust and blood is a little girl cast with the patina of urban war and a cascade of adversity and poor choices to boot. Helaina ultimately frees herself and the reader from this darkness- a complete catharsis and an entirely new take and perspective on that beautiful, yet horrible fall day in New York. Helaina Hovitz is just beginning her life as a young woman freed from pain and addiction- and I personally can't wait to see what she writes next.
Gen More than 1 year ago
Ms. Hovitz has come through a major tragedy that not only hit our country but hit her very personally. Her recount of September 11th and all that followed for her - and all of us - is sharp, poignant and extremely important in the recovery we all went through and are still grappling with. Ms Hovitz was changed to her core and through the years has found a way to not only deal with her scars but inspire all of us to take every next step in order to heal. I felt her pain, I related to her relationships with her family, especially her grandmother, and I healed a little more through her story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An incredible account, not just of 9/11, but of how trauma, until dealt with, can affect a life. Helaina’s memoir moved me deeply as I saw, through a child’s eyes, the details of that day. We all remember where we were, but this novel reminded me of where we are now and how past events continue to affect us on a national and individual level. As I work with children, I truly think this is a book that should be brought to schools! It provided me with a more accessible and personal understanding of the September 11th aftermath than any news article has in years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After 9/11: One Girl’s Journey Through Darkness to a New Beginning offered me a window into the horrific events of 9/11 New York City and beyond. With integrity and painfully clear detail, Ms. Hovitz’s memoir recalls the utterly dark moments following the terrorist attacks on Manhattan. Just twelve years old at the time and inside a public school blocks from the Twin Towers, Ms. Hovitz recounts the chaos with vivid description to easily transport her readers to a time of societal darkness. Chilling images of pearlized dust, body parts, and grey, smoke-filled skies will remain with me indefinitely. Even more upsetting, in my opinion, is Hovitz’s harrowing retelling of her post-9/11 journey through PTSD. The author’s honest, insider’s perspective of PTSD--and the oftentimes dismal public reactions to it--will leave her readers with a better understanding of people struggling with trauma. I highly recommend Helaina Hovitz’s memoir to all readers looking to understand both the events of 9/11 and PTSD.
MMurynec More than 1 year ago
A must read! A truly important story of one remarkable young woman's struggle to overcome the psychic damage caused by living through the trauma of the worst terrorist attack in US history. Honest, powerful and empowering, this story needs to be heard to remind us that there is a path to wellness, but that just as we all may be damaged in different ways, we all may also find different paths to health.
FarrellK More than 1 year ago
Inspirational in Every Way Some memoirs transport us to a time and a place we could not visit otherwise. Some reach us on an emotional level, touching us in a quite personal way. Some make a bigger point about the world we live in and the flaws within it we do not, or cannot, see. Rarely in my experience does a book accomplish all three. Helaina Hovitz's "After 9/11" rises to this challenge. Helaina leads us through a journey that begins with the attack on the Twin Towers as seen through the eyes of a schoolgirl who expected nothing more that day than a normal schedule of classes. With remarkable recall and a deft touch, Helaina brings the day alive in a way that literally puts us in her shoes, running for our lives. From then, we share her journey as she come to terms with the impact those terrible moments had on her life and celebrate her courage as she overcomes those challenges to become the gifted journalist and writer she is today. Helaina has given us a great gift in opening her heart to tell this deeply personal story. We may all take something different away from it. Personally, when I now read about tragic events in our world, my mind turns to the cost our very youngest will have to bear.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A compelling recount of a horrific day seen through the eyes of a child. Helaina Hovitz invites readers into her innocent, whimsical, and yet simple world that is shattered in moments. Her heroic journey to reassemble security and understanding in the midst of loss and recovery is beautifully illustrated in her memoir. Hovitz’ unmistakable voice is pure and entertaining. If you are in your middle-to-upper 20s, you will recognize many of her childhood references (which are nostalgic treats) while peering into her quest to overcome the traumatic effects of September 11, 2001.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really amazing. I’m only halfway through it and I can’t wait to finish. The way that she describes things in perfect detail, as if this just happened yesterday…It just goes to show that there isn’t enough attention being given to the victims who survived the 9/11 attacks, especially those who were very young and more confused than the adults who had no answers for them at the time. Hovitz’s story is both fresh and compelling. I’m glued in for the second half!
Therese83 More than 1 year ago
This memoir is an amazing debut from a brave writer. It's relatable but also incredibly unique, and a powerful, detailed account of the ways in which one moment can change the course of our lives. Nobody has said this yet, but I especially love the details about her relationship with her grandmother, which captures the detail of moments that cause us to remember fond memories of our the same time, it is heartbreaking to read, but written with a tenderness that moves you and possibly changes you a little, too, by the end. There is nothing like this out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a wonderful story of healing. Though I was 10 years older and 3 miles farther uptown, I still identified so much with the fear and uncertainty of that day. Reading the account from the fresh perspective of a child is a solid reminder of how violence affects us all and how all of us have the same ability to both hurt and heal, regardless of age. It is a powerful example of "everyone is fighting their own battle" and for me, a beautiful message of hope, prompting me to look at the people around me with love and compassion instead of judgement.
Brooke Shamhart More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most amazing books I've ever read. I read the entire book in one weekend. I was absolutely captivated by the open and honest sharing and the inside look into the lives of the children of 9/11. As a schoolteacher, I really related to the storyline of evacuating the school. I especially connected with Helaina's relationship with her grandmother, and that was one of my favorite parts of the book. I am thankful for her honest share about her recovery, and I'm so impressed by her resilience. I recommend this book to anyone, especially those who seek to learn more about the survivors of 9/11.
BobRegal908 More than 1 year ago
This book is brilliantly written and talks about an important part of American history through a fresh and rare perspective. Hovitz not only talks about the abomination that was 9/11 through the eyes of a 12 year old child, but she goes into vivid detail about what life was before and after that fateful day. Watching the life of Hovitz unfold and morph throughout the book makes for an exciting read that gives the reader hope that they, too, can make it through the toughest of times if they continue to fight and believe that there’s the tiniest ray of light at the end of the tunnel. To see where Hovitz has come, given everything she endured, is truly remarkable and a must read.
HaileysAunt More than 1 year ago
This book is incredibly moving—one of the best memoirs I've read this year. For anyone who has suffered from PTSD or trauma, or for those who know people who have, Helaina's journey is a must-read. I never contemplated 9/11 through a child's eye before reading about the author's powerful experiences in the minutes, days, and years after.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book is enlightening on so many levels. And thankfully has a happy ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eyes opened to something I never really thought about before. I just naturally assumed everyone that was in that area on that tragic day were adults. I hadn't thought about a school being just blocks away and children living through the horrific experience. How ever difficult for adults to process that day imagine it through the eyes of a child and how the child will be forever affected by it. Beautifully written and touching. I applaud the author for her courage to tell her story and to empower others to tell theirs.