I SURVIVED HURRICANE KATRINA, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis (Scholastic, March 2011) is a slim chapter book about one young boy and his family and their experiences during Katrina. Barry's family has packed the car and is heading out of New Orleans following the order to evacuate for the oncoming hurricane. However, when they get stuck in outgoing traffic and Barry's little sister becomes ill, the family turns back to their home in the lower Ninth and settles in to ride out the storm. It is not long before they are all clinging to the roof of their house hoping for rescue.
In short chapters that begin with a typical day in the lives of the kids living in the neighborhood to the chapters that contain the moment by moment heart-stopping story of survival, Tarshis lets young readers know a little of how terrifying the events of five years ago were (and probably still are to many who experienced them). <418>
It is interesting that the same week I read A.D. NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE DELUGE that this ARC arrived. I suspect we will see more stories now that there is some perspective on the events of Katrina. I know from subsequent visits to the Big Easy that life is decidedly not returned to normal though the town has hosted conferences and conventions (and big props to ALA for being the first to honor its commitment and hold the conference there; and shame on another professional organization who canceled its plans to attend giving me another good reason to stop being a member of it). There are places that will never be rebuilt, and that is the shame of Katrina: years after the storm, homes are still rubble and neighborhoods are abandoned.