Hurricane Katrina originated on August 23 and made landfall on August 25 before finally reaching its peak strength on August 28, 2005. It was one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the United States. Ten years later, its affect can still be seen.
Drowned City – On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage — and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality.
Another Kind of Hurricane – The world, itself, seems to bring together Henry, whose best friend died near their home in the mountains of Vermont, and Zavion, who lost his home in Hurricane Katrina, so that the boys can help each other heal.
Finding Someplace – The weekend she turns thirteen, aspiring clothing designer Teresa “Reesie” Boone is separated from her family by Hurricane Katrina but, during the horrific storm and its aftermath, begins to find strength in herself.
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere – At the end of August 2005, ten-year-old Armani is looking forward to her birthday party in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, where she and her extended family live, but Hurricane Katrina is on the way, bringing destruction and tragedy in its wake.
Zane and the Hurricane – A twelve-year-old boy and his dog become trapped in New Orleans during the horrors of Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane Boy – Twelve-year-old Hollis Williams and his family endure Hurricane Katrina in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. After the storm, he has to help piece his family together in a drowned city.
Hooper Finds a Family – Jimmy, a yellow Labrador puppy, is separated from his Lake Charles, Louisiana, family and survives the horrors of Hurricane Katrina on his own before being rescued and taken to New York City, where he tries to fit in with a new family and the many neighborhood dogs, and accept his new name.
Buddy – Twelve-year-old Li’l T and his family face great losses caused by Hurricane Katrina, including leaving Buddy, their very special, three-legged dog, behind when they must evacuate.
Want to know more about Hurricane Katrina? Check out these resources!:
What Was Hurricane Katrina? – On August 25th, 2005, one of the deadliest and most destructive hurricanes in history hit the Gulf of Mexico. High winds and rain pummeled coastal communities, including the City of New Orleans, which was left under 15 feet of water in some areas after the levees burst. Track this powerful storm from start to finish, from rescue efforts large and small to storm survivors’ tales of triumph.
A Penguin Named Patience – Patience is a South African penguin living at New Orleans’s Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. When the Aquarium is severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina, many animals are put in peril, including Patience and the other penguins. They must leave their home, and their penguin keeper, until it is restored.
Hurricane Katrina – Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, bringing disaster and heartbreak. Ten years later, follow its journey and find out how it blew people’s lives apart.
Eight Dolphins of Katrina – Recounts the true story of eight bottlenose dolphins and their trainers who survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Book recommendations by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
Featured Old West Marshall: Bass Reeves Bass Reeves grew up as a slave in Texas. Even as a young boy he was good with a gun. His master used to take him to shooting contests to show him off. One night though, when Bass was a young man, he and his master got in a fight and Bass punched his owner. Hitting a white man was punishable by death – so Bass ran, and he ran as a fast and as far as he could – all the way to Indian Territory in the West.
The frontier wasn’t called the Wild West for nothing. It was rough country with outlaws roaming around. The West was a great place for bad guys to hide. In 1875 the government hired 200 deputy marshals to help bring order to the frontier and Bass Reeves was one of them. He was also the best one. He could fight and he could shoot when he had too, but mostly, he was smart. He was also known for his honesty and integrity. One time, he had to arrest his own son! Author: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Another great book about Bass is The Legend of Bass Reeves. Gary Paulsen, the author of this book, calls it “the true and fictional account of the most valiant marshal in the West.” Mr. Paulsen adds a little here and there to fill in the places where history left gaps…but for the most part, this is the story of Bass the real guy – the first African-American U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi – and this was in the 1870s! Bass became a legend, even in his own time. Some outlaws turned themselves in once they heard it was Bass that would be looking for them! Bass Reeves – an American original!
Featured Civil Rights Activist: Claudette Colvin grew up in Alabama in the 1940s and 1950s. At that time, Jim Crow rules dominated her life. Jim Crow rules were designed to keep black people and white people separated. These are the rules that said black people could not eat in certain restaurants or sit in certain seats on a city bus. When Claudette was 15 years old she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person, so she was arrested. You’re probably thinking, no, that was Rosa Parks. It’s true, Rosa Parks did the same thing, but Claudette did it too! A lawsuit was filed on behalf of several people, including Claudette and Rosa, to end bus segregation, and eventually, they won. Rosa is more well known, but Claudette was right there too, and she was just a kid! Reading her story helps you understand that it took lots of people, young and old, to change the Jim Crow rules. A lot of people were brave enough to stand up and say, “no more!”
This book includes interviews with Claudette herself, so you get the story straight from her. She talks about what it felt like to live with Jim Crow; to constantly be told, “you can’t”. When you hear a real person talking about it, it seems much more real than reading a plain description. Claudette was there and she can speak for herself. If you like reading about Claudette, try Marching For Freedom. That one tells the story of kids who marched in Selma, Alabama to help win black people the right to vote. It’s really good too and includes interviews with people who were kids back then and were actually there.
Indiana History and Civil Rights:
If you like Claudette’s story you might like finding out about a strong Hoosier woman who fought for her rights. When Indiana became a state in 1816, the constitution stated, “there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude.” In early 1816, Mary Bateman Clark, a slave in Kentucky, was sold and brought to Knox County, Indiana, as an “indentured servant.” In 1821 Clark filed suit for her freedom. The Knox County Circuit Court ruled against Clark’s petition to end her indentured servitude. Clark appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, which ruled that Clark’s status was clearly not voluntary. The court awarded Clark her freedom and in doing so set a precedent for freedom for other indentured blacks held in Indiana.