Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina

192p. chron. maps. Scholastic/Blue Sky. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545342384.
RedReviewStarGr 5–8—A boy's visit to meet his great-grandmother for the first time turns into a nightmare when Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. Twelve-year-old Zane has not known many family members other than his mother; after she makes contact with his deceased father's grandmother, Zane travels to the oppressively humid city. When New Orleans is placed under a mandatory evacuation, Zane and his great-grandmother leave with his dog, Bandy, and her pastor; when Bandy is spooked by growling Dobermans, he leaps from the car, followed by Zane. Zane and Bandy endure the hurricane's landfall and the failure of the levees at his great-grandmother's house until they meet a young girl, Malvina, and her guardian, Tru. The trio canoes through the snake-infested waters seeking assistance. Arriving in a neighborhood protected by privately hired security forces leads to vicious threats from the armed guards, who are loading helicopters stuffed with rugs and other expensive items. After their canoe is stolen, they head to the chaos of the Superdome and eventually to a bridge connecting the city to Algiers, in which they hope to find Tru's cousin. Vivid descriptions of the toxic waters, the commotion at the Superdome, and racial tension are handled factually yet sensitively. Information about unique New Orleans customs, including "jazz funerals," its history of biracialism, and accents are occasionally inserted. The fast bond among Zane, Malvina, and Tru is believably drawn. A time line and facts about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath are included.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA
Zane Dupree and his dog, Bandit, fly from New Hampshire to New Orleans to visit his great-grandmother for the first time. Then Hurricane Katrina strikes. Zane is separated from Miss Trissy during the evacuation and trapped by the floodwaters. Philbrick's tale of survival is gripping. Timeline.

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