A Storm Called Katrina
by Myron Uhlberg; illustrated by Colin Bootman
Peachtree Publishers, $17.95
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What it's about: Louis Daniel, a 10-year-old boy named after the jazz great, describes his experiences in the midst of Hurricane Katrina. One morning, Louis and his parents are forced to evacuate their house and make the long journey in a makeshift raft to the Superdome. Louis explains the stressful conditions of living in such close quarters with so many people and so few resources. He loses his father in the crowd and uses his horn to lead his father to the middle of the football field, where they reunite. After several days, the family returns home.
Why read it: While I would not describe this as the most lighthearted read, it is endearing. The horrible aftermath of Katrina is portrayed through innocent eyes, making the story both appropriate and informative for children. Louis also forms a special connection with a dog, demonstrating that some good things can come out of disaster. The illustrations are richly colored and loosely rendered, mirroring the vibrancy of New Orleans, but also the confusion after the hurricane. This is not a read for younger children, but it can be especially powerful for the older set.
-- Hadley Newton, Special to the Star-Telegram