FICTION

Hurricane Katrina Rescue

160p. photos. (Ranger in Time: Bk. 8). Scholastic. Jun. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338133967; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781338133950.
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Gr 3–5-Ranger, a golden retriever who trained for search and rescue but didn't quite pass his exam, is back for another adventure through history. This time, a thunderstorm in the present day activates the old first aid kit's time-travel powers, sending Ranger to 2005 New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward. Eleven-year-old Clare lives with her forgetful grandmother and her father, who has left Clare in charge at home while he fills the car with gas in preparation for the hurricane. When the levees break and Clare's home floods, it's up to Ranger to help her stay calm and get to safety in her father's flat-bottom boat. Clare is a strong heroine; she's courageous, independent, and compassionate. She and Ranger help her grandmother and a neighbor with an infant to safety before their own dramatic helicopter rescue and happy family reunion. Well-researched back matter includes photographs and illustrates the effects of Hurricane Katrina that linger to the present day in the Lower Ninth Ward. Also discussed are the economic and racial factors that affected evacuation prior to and during the storm, and new legislation authorizing workers to rescue pets alongside their owners.
VERDICT Ranger's adventures in New Orleans with the memorable Clare address the many complexities of Hurricane Katrina that linger to this day, including poverty and racism, in an age-appropriate and compelling way. A strong choice perfect for fans of Lauren Tarshis's "I Survived" series.-Katherine Barr, Cameron Village Regional Library, Raleigh, NC

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