10 Best 9/11 Books You Should Read

It has been over 20 years since America experienced 9/11, one of the most horrific attacks in history that heavily impacted the lives of so many people and altered everything immensely. It bought so many changes to the working of the country and the whole world. Not just that, but it also changed people’s views toward the government and certain communities. Because of all this, we can easily say that the impact of that day can be experienced till now.

But like most of the historical tragedies that the world has faced, the incident that took place on 9/11 has also heavily inspired some great works in the fields of art and literature. After the attack happened, a considerable amount of books about the tragedy, or surrounding it, have been written and published. Some are about the experiences of people who witnessed everything unfold, while some are about the world after all this happened. There are also many incredible works of fiction where we can see the characters of the book living through that day.


But since there are so many books that are available for people to read, you might be confused about what will be worth your time. To streamline your options and make the decision-making somewhat easier, we have formed a list of 10 best 9/11 books that you can pick up whether you want something extremely detailed or something less heavy and easy to read.

Top 10 Books About 9/11

Listed below are some of the best 9/11 books that will take you back to that day. They will allow you to feel all the different emotions that those who witnessed the tragedy take place must have felt. All of these are highly popular and widely recommended by readers from around the world. The list contains a mix of fiction and non-fiction and has books for both kids and adults.

1. The Looming Tower

When talking about the best 9/11 books, this is a name that we definitely cannot miss. The title has won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and was also made into a popular miniseries. It is a thorough examination by Lawrence Wright, a renowned journalist, of the events of 9/11 and the motives behind them. He spent over five years of his life researching and learning as much as he can about this day.

Readers will get to learn all about Al- Qaeda as one of the biggest terrorist organizations and the leaders who were behind all this. The book also talks about the incompetence of America’s special intelligence to recognize the threat on time.

  • Author: Lawrence Wright
  • Published On: 2006
  • Genre: Non- Fiction

2. The Only Plane In The Sky

This book has woven stories and experiences together from the people who lived through the attacks of 9/11 and the days following them. It contains information taken from interviews, documents, and other credible documents to create a comprehensive account of everything that happened that day.

When reading it, you will be taken on a journey where you will get to live through the emotions and feelings of people who witnessed everything. It is not a mere compilation of experiences but a proper narrative of the day the way it happened. It is extremely compelling and will stay in your mind for a long time.

  • Author: Garrett Graff
  • Published On: 10 September 2019
  • Genre: Personal Narrative

3. The Dark Side

This title talks about the political aspects of the event and how the decisions taken by the people in power in the governments were destructive. It mentions how these decisions impacted the nation and also shines a light on some controversies that also took place. The book was also very well received by critics and also became a New York Times best seller. It is a perfect read if you want to know about the political aspect of the tragedy and problems that were not properly tackled by the US government.

  • Author: Jane Mayer
  • Published On: 15 July 2008
  • Genre: Non- Fiction

4. The Submission

This is an excellent psychological fiction novel set ten years after the horrific terrorist attacks of 2001. The plot revolves around a Muslim architect, Mohammad Khan, whose design is chosen from among many anonymous submissions to build the World Trade Center memorial. Once this comes to the knowledge of the public, there is an uproar.

This book navigates through the divided country that America has become and the discrimination against Muslims after the attack. The character’s ideals and emotions can be felt throughout the novel and the readers get to see the different perspectives of the characters.

  • Author: Amy Waldman
  • Published On: 16 August 2011
  • Genre: Psychological Fiction

5. 102 Minutes

The book gets its name from the period between the first attack to the destruction of the North Tower. The people inside the World Trade Center were living their life as usual not knowing that they were about to go through one of the most horrific experiences of their lifetime.

This book contains stories of people who got to live through those 102 minutes and their heroic stories of saving not only themselves but others as well. This is a great pick if you are curious about what the people inside the World Trade Center went through.

  • Author: Kevin Hynn, Jim Dwyer
  • Published On: Non-Fiction
  • Genre: January 2005

6. I Survived: I Survived The Attacks Of September 11, 2001

This is book six in Lauren Tarshis’ “I Survived” series, in which each book follows the story of a child living through various historical events. This particular book follows the story of Lucas who has a deep love for football and also his father’s best friend who taught him everything about it. But one day when he goes to meet him, his life turns upside down when he finds out that the city is under attack.

This book is a great addition to the series since it surrounds such a significant event in the history of our world. Furthermore, it is perfect if you want your children to learn about 9/11 interestingly since it does not contain any sensitive depictions or graphics.

  • Author: Lauren Tarshis
  • Published On: 2012
  • Genre: Children’s Literature

7. Branches Of Hope

This beautiful novel tells the story of a Callery pear tree. After the attack, this tree was found under all the debris which used to stand tall on the base of the World Trade Center. It survived and was taken to a nursery where it was taken care of. It finally recovered completely.

And just like how the tree survived even after all this, this book reminds us of the survivor’s strength and persistence and how hope can come out of a terrible event. Other than the story of this tree, the book also talks about the life of a young child growing up at the same time.

  • Author: Ann Magee
  • Published On: 18 May 2021
  • Genre: Non- Fiction

8. Fall And Rise: The Story Of 9/11

Unlike quite a lot of books about 9/11, this one only covers the attacks and does not include any political aspects. It offers a detailed description of that day and everything that took place. It also has stories about the victims and their loved ones which allow the readers to experience the event through their eyes.

The writing of this book is incredible and will keep you hooked throughout. Reading it will make you feel the pain of those who sacrificed their lives, but also make you remember the courage and strength of those who fought till the end.

  • Author: Mitchell Zuckoff
  • Published On: 30 April 2019
  • Genre: Biography

9. Muslim Girl: A Coming Of Age

This book is a personal account of the life of Amani-Al-Khatahbeh. Here, she talks about the hardships she faced as a Muslim girl in America. The alienation she felt from society and the raging islamophobia that spread across the country led her to create her website ” Muslim Girl.” The site turned into a huge phenomenon and allowed her to speak her voice and also of many other Muslim women.

She shares how 9/11 is still going on for them and how their hijab does not make them a target of oppression. The book not only is eye-opening for non-Muslim readers but is also very personal and heartfelt for Muslim readers.

  • Author: Amani-al-Khatahtbeh
  • Published On: 18 October 2016
  • Genre: Biography

10. Falling Man

This novel by Don DeLillo travels through the events that took place on 11 September 2001, and the aftermath. It follows the life of a few of the survivors of the attack and how their life has changed after that day. The book will break your heart and change the way you see the world. But, it is also very beautiful and will take you through an emotional rollercoaster. All these reasons make it the perfect addition to our list of the 10 best 9/11 books.

  • Author: Don DeLillo
  • Published On: 15 May 2007
  • Genre: Psychological Fiction


Most people have a basic knowledge of 9/11. But, if you want to learn more deeply about why the attacks happened, the experiences of people, and how the country transformed, then these books greatly help you with that. With every page you flip, you will feel a new wave of emotions and get to explore different experiences. So if you are someone who wishes to explore this topic, then these books will make the perfect addition to your reading list.

About Kalpna

I am an experienced content writer who can write in various general niches. When I am not putting my thoughts into words, you will most probably find me indulged in music or reading some Agatha Christie.

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