Tag Archive | Louisiana

Hurricane Boy, separated from family after Katrina! by Laura Roach Dragon (book review)

book cover of Hurricane Boy by Laura Roach Dragon, published by Pelican Publishing | recommended on BooksYALove.comGrandma scoffs at weather warnings,
Hurricane Katrina proves her unwise!
Rescue! Safety? Separated!!

This fictional account of one family’s struggles to survive Katrina’s fury, then be reunited after their rescue has been heralded as true-to-life and as frightening as reality by people in the Ninth Ward who were also there during the devastating hurricane.

Recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria spread similar destruction and disruption – be ready for more hurricanes hitting unusual locations.

But have we really learned from these disasters?

Book info: Hurricane Boy / Laura Roach Dragon. Pelican Publishing, 2014. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When their Ninth Ward home is swept away by Hurricane Katrina, Hollis and his younger siblings are separated from big brother Jonas and grandma Gee during the evacuation – will they be able to find each other and get back to New Orleans?

Good thing that Gee had an axe in the attic so they could escape through the roof when the levee broke and flooded the house.

Lucky that rescuers could read ‘insulin’ painted on the roof and save her after the long first days with no drinking water.

Most unfortunate that Jonas had swum over to help others when Hollis, Leta, and Augie are finally taken to safety – far, far from home!

As Augie refuses unfamiliar food at the shelter, Hollis deals with people trying to take advantage of the three siblings and other kids separated from their parents, all the while wondering why his dad abandoned the family as mom died of cancer and whether he even survived the hurricane.

Orleans, by Sherri L. Smith (book review) – post-hurricanes, Delta Fever rules

book cover of Orleans by Sherri L. Smith published by GP Putnam's SonsCategory 6 hurricane blasts New Orleans,
incurable blood disease rampant,
the Gulf Coast states excised from the USA.

In 2056, Fen tries to remember everything that her scientist-parents taught her before Delta Fever felled them, like countless thousands after Hurricane Jesus (which made Katrina look like a mild breeze) – but will it be enough?

Get a taste of Fen’s life in the free short story “Orleans: Carnivale” here, then look for the 2013 hardcover or recently released paperback to travel deep into dangerous Orleans, one of my #weneeddiversebooks 48-hour Reading Challenge favorites this year.

As Sherri wrote in my copy of the book, “Tribe is life” – it’s up to Fen to ensure her tribe’s survival now.


Book info:  Orleans / Sherri L. Smith. G.P. Putnams’ Sons, 2013 (hardcover); Speak, 2014 (paperback). [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Carrying the hope of her tribe in 2056’s death-dealing Louisiana swamps, Fen will leverage any advantage to ensure their survival, including an outsider scientist’s misguided help.

In drowned New Orleans, descendants of mega-hurricane survivors live and die in tribes based on blood type to slow the incurable Delta Fever’s mutations. After an ambush, only Fen and Lydia’s baby remain of the O-Positive tribe. She must get that baby over The Wall before Delta Fever gets into her blood!

Scientists in the Outer States still seek a cure for Delta Fever; Daniel has found it. To test the cure, he sneaks into the Separated lands in a quarantine suit, hoping to survive long enough to see the results.

When blood farmers capture them, Fen and Daniel work to escape so they can get Baby Girl over The Wall… at least, that’s what Fen plans.

This ecological disaster adventure from the author of Flygirl  tests the boundaries of trust and humanity as surely as the soldiers guarding The Wall will shoot anyone trying to leave the Delta. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Calli, by Jessica Lee Anderson (fiction) – foster sister or rotten apple?

book cover of Calli by Jessica Lee Anderson published by Milkweed EditionsHer boyfriend Dub is sweet,
her moms are loving and supportive,
best friend Delia helps her keep away the blues,
so Calli thinks that having a foster little sister would just make things even better…

Until rebellious teenager Cherish comes to their Lake Charles home as an emergency foster placement,
kissing Dub in the school hall,
spreading lies about Calli,
alienating her friends and stealing Calli’s things.

Now Calli wants to undo her wish for a foster sister and would turn back time in a heartbeat – but everyone knows that time only runs forward.

Jessica Lee Anderson brings us another highly readable story about a teen facing unusual challenges (see my no-spoiler recommendation of her Border Crossing here) and surviving, in spite of it all. Look for this 2011 book at your local library or independent bookstore.

Book info: Calli / Jessica Lee Anderson. Milkweed Editions, 2011. [author’s website]    [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Recommendation:

Trudging home in the coastal Louisiana heat, Calli wonders why she ever wished for a foster sister. Everyone in the high school knows that Calli saw her own boyfriend Dub liplocked with Cherish, guesses he decided that he wanted action instead of affection.
Mom and Liz weren’t sure that they’d be certified as a foster family, but they’re such good parents that Calli never had a doubt (much better parents than her father who returned to France when she was born and never looked back). They’d requested young children, but consented to an emergency placement for “a teenager at risk.”
Whatever weird thing happened with Cherish’s family to get her into foster care, the ninth grader isn’t letting it stop her from hanging around with upperclassmen, wearing tighter shirts than Calli, more makeup than Calli, trying to get Calli to do her homework. The girls bicker constantly at home (thank goodness they don’t share a bedroom), which makes Mom’s lupus flare up. Verbal spats get physical, and now the whole family is at risk.
Cherish steals from Calli, alienates her friends at school – is there anything that Cherish won’t try to take away from her? Is Dub lost to Calli forever? Will Cherish’s willful behavior keep Mom and Liz from ever having a young foster child to care for and love? Is Calli going to stay “plain old Calli” with braces forever?

An insightful look at less-traditional family life from the author of Border Crossing, this novel takes readers into that humid South Louisiana spring semester when Calli’s life changes for the worse, for the better, maybe for always.