Saint Louis Armstrong Beach

Brenda Woods. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-399-25507-6
Set in New Orleans during the week leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, Woods’s novel introduces Saint Louis Armstrong Beach, an 11-year-old resident of the city’s Tremé neighborhood. Named after both his grandfather and the jazz musician, Saint (an accomplished clarinet player, not a trumpeter) has a “mostly good” life before the storm, with close ties to his parents and his tight-knit community, including a neighborhood dog, Shadow. When evacuation of the city becomes mandatory, Saint is supposed to leave town with his extended family, but he returns to his neighborhood to search for Shadow and winds up caring for his diabetic elderly neighbor, Miz Moran, as the levees break and the streets flood. While Woods (A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame) concludes on a realistically uncertain note, the contrivances that allow for the book’s perhaps too-happy ending (including a dream sequence and some unlikely efforts on Shadow’s part) shield readers from the more devastating realities of the disaster. Still, Saint is an easy protagonist to love, and his reunion with his parents remains gratifying. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 144 pages - 978-1-101-54770-0
Open Ebook - 144 pages - 978-1-101-54697-0
Paperback - 137 pages - 978-0-14-242186-4
Prebound-Glued - 137 pages - 978-0-606-26661-1
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