Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

DROWNED CITY: HURRICANE KATRINA AND NEW ORLEANS, by Don Brown

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The story: In August 2005, a gust of wind in Africa turns first into a tropical storm, then into a monster: Hurricane Katrina, which roared over Florida, then the Gulf of Mexico, and became a true killer storm when it made landfall over the city of New Orleans. This is the story of what happened–and what didn’t–in the aftermath of the storm that obliterated the Big Easy.

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: This isn’t a “graphic novel” in the usual sense: while it is a story told in cartoons, it’s non-fiction and so not a novel at all. Although simply written and illustrated, it’s powerful in its presentation of Hurricane Katrina both in terms of its weather and in terms of its social implications. The pictures tell their own story of government failures on both the local and federal level, and of regular folks reaching out to help one another during a time of great need (although of course, there were others who weren’t helpful in the least). For kids looking for basic information on the storm and its fallout, this is a good choice.

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