Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick presents a gripping yet poignant novel about a 12-year-old boy and his dog who become trapped in New Orleans during the horrors of Hurricane Katrina.
Zane Dupree is a charismatic 12-year-old boy of mixed race visiting a relative in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. Unexpectedly separated from all family, Zane and his dog experience the terror of Katrina's wind, rain, and horrific flooding. Facing death, they are rescued from an attic air vent by a kind, elderly musician and a scrappy young girl - both African American.
The chaos that ensues as storm water drowns the city, shelter and food vanish, and police contribute to a dangerous, frightening atmosphere, creates a page-turning tale that completely engrosses the reader. Based on the facts of the worst hurricane disaster in U.S. history, Philbrick includes the lawlessness and lack of government support during the disaster as well as the generosity and courage of those who risked their lives and safety to help others.
Here is an unforgettable novel of heroism in the face of truly challenging circumstances.
My Stupid Trip to Smellyville
Bandy is a mutt like me. He's black and white and small enough to hide in a gym bag, except he can't keep from barking hi-hi-hi with his silly tongue hanging out and his little tail sticking up. Bandy, short for Bandit, because of the black marking across his eyes and nose. Don't get me wrong, he's the best dog in the world, and what happened wasn't really his fault, even if it nearly got me killed two times. Three if you count the tippy canoe. Later on he made up for it by totally saving my life. Of course none of it would have happened if my mom didn't make me visit the golden oldies in Smellyville, which is what I called New Orleans before I knew better. Before the wind and the rain and the flood, and me having to pretend I was brave, even though inside I was scared to death.
My name is Zane Dupree. I need to warn you right now, there's some really gross stuff in this book, and I'm not talking about make-...
[The characters'] struggles keep you on the edge of your seat, which makes for a very quick read, and it is easy to care about what happens to them. I appreciate that Philbrick illustrates how some people automatically decide to collaborate with each other, while others seem controlled by fear and panic. In this way, his writing feels true and gives kids a taste for some of the deeper issues at hand, though they are never really discussed.
(Reviewed by Elena Spagnolie).
Full Review (894 words).
After Hurricane Katrina hit and the levees failed, approximately 80% of New Orleans was under water. Sewage was everywhere, swollen dead bodies floated in the water and lined the streets, the heat was stifling, and after a few days it became clear that help was in no hurry to get there. Out of desperation to find food, water, medicine, and sanitary conditions, some people like Malvina, Zane, and Tru in Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick decided to walk over the bridges and cross the Mississippi River into areas that seemed safer.
Before they reached higher ground, however, many discovered that armed police had created blockades and were not allowing anyone to cross over.
In the days just after ...
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Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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