Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina

Rodman Philbrick. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-545-34238-4
In August 2005, 12-year-old Zane Dupree reluctantly travels to New Orleans with his dog Bandy to visit Miss Trissy, his paternal great-grandmother. Zane is biracial and knows nothing about his late father’s side of the family; he acquires some pieces of the puzzle—that his father ran away from home, and his uncle “got hissef killed”—but gaps remain. Hurricane Katrina arrives, and mandatory evacuation is announced, but on a bus out of town, Bandy escapes and Zane follows him back to Miss Trissy’s house. They are rescued from the surging water and relentless heat by Malvina Rawlins, a girl Zane’s age with a stream of corny jokes at her disposal, and her elderly guardian, musician Trudell Manning. Zane’s first-person account is tense and authentically youthful as the group paddles through the flooded streets of New Orleans seeking refuge. Philbrick (The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg) vividly portrays the destruction and multitude of threats facing citizens stuck in the city, along with undercurrents of racial and social tension that didn’t wash away with the levees. Ages 10–14. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/25/2013
Release date: 02/25/2014
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