Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review: "Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina" by Rodman Philbrick

Twelve year old Zane and his dog Bandit head to New Orleans so he can meet a long lost relative.  The timing couldn't be worse, because a few days after he arrives, Hurricane Katrina bears down on the city, separating Zane from the only person he knows.  He must rely on help from kind strangers to help him navigate the strange city, now under water, to find his family and get back home because the danger still comes long after the rain stops falling.

As soon as I saw this title and the author, I have been itching to read it.  Hurricane Katrina was such a nightmare that I will never forget, even though I was physically far from the destruction.  But kids now ready for middle grade chapter books don't have that memory; all they know is what they are told - probably in history class.  So I think this is an important book for this age group.  Yes, it is fiction, but the maps, author notes, timeline and facts about the tragedy are included at the end.

What is great about this story is that you see one account of Katrina and everything immediately afterward through the eyes of a child completely out of his element.  It doesn't try to encompass everything, but there is plenty there to feel the horror, heat, desperation and the stench.  But you also see strangers helping strangers, friendships formed, and the strength of the human spirit.  I look forward to recommending this to kids at the library looking for books about Katrina, natural disasters, and realistic fiction/adventure stories.

Zane and the Hurricane
by Rodman Philbrick
Blue Sky Press, 2014
184 pages
Source:  Publisher for review

Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina

1 comment:

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

It's quite scary, in a way, that already it's far enough in the past to not be remembered by everyone. Sounds a good history lesson. Well done on What's In A Name :)

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