Friday, August 3, 2007


AUTHOR: Sid Jacobson
PUBLISHER: Hill and Wang
GENRE: Nonfiction

FORMAT: Trade Paperback
PAGES: 144 pages
COLOR: Full Color
ISBN 10: 0-8090-5739-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-8090-5739-9

The 9/11 Commission released its report of the September 11 events in December 2005. This report was so large and complex that no one was reading it. In an unprecedented move, the Commission enlisted the help of veteran comic book creators Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón to recreate the Commission’s report. Knowing that the American people have lessons to learn, these two creators have adapted the report in graphic novel form to make it accessible to the general public. Specifically, the intention was to reach a new set of readers and engage more citizens in the process of studying in order to understand this major event that has shaped our lives.

According to the Chair and Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, this adaptation maintains a “close adherence to the findings, recommendations, spirit, and tone of the original commission report.”

Even those who do not find nonfiction or historical accounts very interesting will find themselves engaged by this graphic novel. The information is presented in such a way as to be easily accessible for the reader and very enjoyable. The information is frank and factual and helps us understand the most influential event in modern history.

The art is clean, concise and colorful and it helps guide the reader in making connections between the information and how we, as Americans, have been affected.

My Rating: Ages 12 and older (high school-aged preferred)
All Ages Reads: No rating
Comics in the Classroom: No Rating

While this book could be used in a middle school, I think the best audience would be high school students. They would be more prepared to make sense of the difficult vocabulary used.

There are so many things that an effective teacher could do to help students study the events of September 11, 2001. Using this graphic novel is an excellent way. This book lends itself to the use of twin texts. Having students read this factual account and combining that with a first-hand account of someone who was in New York at the time could help students internalize the information and be able to make connections between the event and the ramifications afterwards.

Highly Recommended
This belongs in every social science teacher’s room and school library. An event such as what occurred on September 11, 2001 should be studied. Considering this graphic novel is an official adaptation of the 9/11 Commission Report, it has a rightful place in the classroom and is worthy of study.

Stan Lee, the most famous of comic creators, had this to say: “Never before have I seen a nonfiction book as beautifully and compellingly written and illustrated as THE 9/11 REPORT: A GRAPHIC ADAPTATION. I cannot recommend it too highly. It will surely set the standard for all future works of contemporary history, graphic or otherwise, and should be required reading in every home, school, and library.”