Author: Lauren Tarshis
Barry's family tries to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hits their home in New Orleans. But when Barry's little sister gets terribly sick, they're forced to stay home and wait out the storm.
At first, Katrina doesn't seem to be as bad as predicted. But overnight the levees break, and Barry's world is literally torn apart. He's swept away by the floodwaters, away from his family. Can he survive the storm of the century -- alone?
The short story: I'm glad I finally read one! I see why my students read them.
The details: My students love these books. Once they get started on one, they keep coming back to get another one until they've read all we have in the library. My own son is exactly the same way. I love them because of this an because they give kids an appropriate look at historical events. This one did just that.
It was a quick read. I read it in one evening, so I know that's one reason why kids read them. I liked how it gave a clear look at some of the events of hurricane Katrina. It didn't go into all the events instead focusing on one family and their story. I think that's what kids need because it lets them see how someone their age might get through a difficult event, and it might help them connect to the story - an in turn the historical event - better. Barry's story let me, as an adult even, see what the first days of hurricane Katrina were like for people still there. I got to see a more personal story, and that was good. Was it simplified - yes, but it needs to be with the audience it's intended for. If a child is interested in learning more they can. This just opens the door for that.
To add about the series in general - I was talking to my son about them. He told me each story jumps right into the part where the kid is in danger and then backs up so you hear what led up to it. He said he really liked that they did that.