According to the Smithsonian Institution, THE LITTLE CHAPEL THAT STOOD “is a wonderful work of children’s literature that balances historical fact with an uplifting message. Its powerful narrative makes it the perfect fit for a new Smithsonian OurStory module focused on a difficult anniversary.” So it became the feature book for the Smithsonian Institution’s OurStory interactive 9/11 program for schools and libraries. It was also chosen by the 9/11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center for their educational program where the book will be read and a film adaptation of the book will be shown on a giant screen to visitors. It is considered by both reviewers and teachers alike as the best children's book ever written about 9/11.
In addition to many other honors, THE LITTLE CHAPEL THAT STOOD was declared an historic artifact by Duquesne University and was the subject of a doctoral thesis. The researchers went to various schools, asked the students a series of questions about 9/11 and left the book. They returned later with another series of questions. The thesis proved that after reading the book, school children talked about 9/11 less in terms of death and destruction, and more in terms of the courage and freedom of the American people. THE LITTLE CHAPEL THAT STOOD also inspired a New York City School Teacher to start an organization to advocate the teaching of the U.S. Constitution and the principles of capitalism in all New York City schools.
In a rather unusual event for a children’s book, THE LITTLE CHAPEL was read to the jury in the life and death trial of the 20th hijacker (Zacharias Moussaoui) because it made the point that America has never been a victim, not even on 9/11. America is victorious because it transcends its enemies. On that fateful day, everyone pulled together courageously, people risked their own lives to help disabled strangers down the Tower stairs to safety, and even small children waved "thank you" signs to passing fireman.
THE LITTLE CHAPEL THAT STOOD reminds us that terror and war cannot win because they are insubstantial and temporary. But the freedom and courage in the heart of every American is abiding—as symbolized by this historic chapel that stood firm on 9-11. Alexander Hamilton and George Washington were members of this little chapel, built in 1776. Less than 100 yards from the Twin Towers, it miraculously survived and became the service depot for the rescue workers.
"I want to let you know that I'm a 6th grade teacher in PA and we showed the you tube video of you reading your story, The Little Chapel That Stood, to 150 students on the 18th anniversary of 9/11. In the video you share how you came to write the story and the circumstances of the publishing, book signings and the like. It is my hope your words resonate with my students--students who were not born when it happened. There were so many thought provoking words you said and many have stayed with me. But one phrase stands out the most. In the video you explain that after 9/11, children waved American flags in the streets to show support for the heroes who went to help. You explain that during this time, waving the American flag was not a negative thing. You said so many wonderful, powerful, thought provoking words in the video, and yet, this is the one I hear loudest. It saddens me that the American flag is viewed so differently now. As the teacher, I view the film many times and each time something new stands out. I've thought about your words so much...I remember the aftermath of 9/11 and how the country bonded together with so much pride and love to be American. Your book is perfect to teach this horrific event and I pray this new generation never has to experience such an event...but if they do, how will they react, will they bond together.......what will they wave to show support? I wonder.... As an extension, we had the kids do a Random Act of Kindness. We may not be able to take away the past, but we can be a part of learning from it and reacting proactively to make this world better. Your book and your words speak to this...We teach growth mindset and your work speaks to that as well. I guess I'm writing to thank you. Thank you for writing the poem, listening to your husband and daughter, working with others to write the book and for publishing it yourself. Thank you for the video which made the event and the aftermath more tangible to kids...in a "not scary" way. Your work deserves the recognition it is receiving from the Smithsonian and others, but most importantly, your work is planting seeds of hope in our children, hope that is so much needed in this new world we are living. So, yes, thank you. Thank you for writing, listening, persevering. You are an inspiration" ~ Pamala Learn, 6th grade Teacher in Pennsylvania
"...destined to become a classic in children's literature. By reminding the reader that courage never wavered despite the devastation of Sept. 11, 2001, it stands as a beacon to freedom. Linking present and future with a glorious past, the book equally captivates adults as well." ~ The Sanford Herald
"faces the tragedy square on...manages to bring children through the tragedy to see the courage and hope...how good can come from bad." ~ The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Colorful and moving...how good things can come from bad things...how the power of people working together can turn sorrow into hope." ~ Torrance Daily Breeze
- Age Range: 9 - 12 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Oldcastle Publishing; July 2003
- ISBN: 9780932529770