Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story


Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story

Nora Raleigh Baskin

©2016 Nora Raleigh Baskin

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Lexile 730 L 

Four middle schoolers who live in completely different parts of the United States don’t have much in common.  One lives in Brooklyn New York, one in Ohio, another in a small town in Pennsylvania, and one in Southern California. They differ in many other ways other than location, too:  Black, White, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Boy, Girl…  In addition, on top of being middle schoolers, they each face personal problems in their lives which seem far from ideal.  After the tragic events of 9/11, they end up united… read on to discover how!


Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Suggested Delivery: Grades 5-6 Independent or Small Group Read


Many children entering in schools today may not be familiar with what 9/11 means in its entirety.  Having students read the article found here provided by scholastic would be a great way to have the students become more knowledgable on the topic of study.

Another resource which would support the students to understand the events of September 11th would be to have them explore the Brainpop webpage about 9/11 which can be found here.  This includes a short video clip, a quiz, a map, and basic facts about 9/11.

The teaching guide which corresponds to this book can be found here.

Teaching Suggestions:

  • Vocabulary is an essential part to reading.  One activity which could help students grow their vocabulary alongside of this would be to give the students a selection of target vocabulary words read in the book.  The students will look the words up in the dictionary or using an online source (depending on what the teacher decides) and will then use each word in a sentence.  The following vocabulary words would work well for this pre-teaching activity:
    • Escort-  A person, vehicle, ship, or aircraft, or a group of these, accompanying/ joining another for protection,
    • Plaque- An ornamental tablet, typically of metal, porcelain, or wood, that is fixed to a wall or other surface to honor a person or event.
    • Veil- Apiece of fine material worn by women to protect or conceal the face
    • Furrowed-  To be marked with lines or wrinkles caused by frowning, anxiety, or concentration
    • Immodest-Laving dignity/ self pride; improper
    • Particular- Specific
  • Comprehension is the goal in reading.  It is important to focus on comprehension before, during, and after reading a story.  The following activities can be done throughout the journey a student takes reading this book in order to support the level of comprehension reached:
    • Before reading the story, a great activity for students to develop schema would be to have them read the article provided by scholastic described above. This would give the students a general knowledge/ understanding for what happened on September 11th.
    • During reading, an activity which will support the comprehension of the students would be to divide the class into four different groups, each group representing one of the main characters from the book.  As they learn more about the students in the story, the job of each small group would be to develop a mimic social media page for their character.   This would allow the students to connect deeper with at least one character after having read enough information to feel comfortable knowing the character.
    • After reading, having students make apropriate changes/modifications to their character’s social media profile would be a great way for the class to show that they understand how the characters developed based on the events in the novel.
  • A conclusive writing activity is a great way to wrap up a novel with students would be to have them respond to the following question in a short answer/ essay format:
    • “Which character do you see yourself relating to the most at the beginning of the story?  Did this change by the end of the story? Why? How does this character develop/change throughout what happens in the novel?”

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