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A Storm Called Katrina Hardcover – August 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

STARRED REVIEW The pair behind Dad, Jackie, and Me turn their attention to the harrowing events of Hurricane Katrina as seen through the eyes of a fictional child. Ten year- old Louis Daniel is African-American and a horn player like his idol, Louis Armstrong. He goes to bed during a fierce storm and awakens to encroaching water. Bootman s dramatic oil paintings and the boy s first-person narration provide realistic immediacy as the boy s family makes its way through their flooded neighborhood on a piece of someone s porch that was floating by. Uhlberg hints at the death toll: [M]y broom hit a pile of clothes. Mama covered my eyes. Don t look, Baby, she said. But I couldn t help looking. The dark-hued, realistic illustrations create a somber mood that refuses to lift even when the family finally reaches the Superdome. The boy s shiny cornet, saved from floodwaters, figures prominently in the family s experience at the chaotic stadium, giving comfort and continuity. Readers are in for a deeply personal and sometimes uncomfortable look at a disaster whose ramifications are still being felt. The book concludes with author notes and several photographs.
Ages 7 11. (Aug.) ----Publishers Weekly



STARRED REVIEW A heartrending story of a New Orleans family s experience through Hurricane Katrina.
Ten-year-old Louis Daniel goes to sleep hugging his brass cornet close as the winds of Hurricane Katrina begin to howl and rattle the house. In the morning, the family realizes that the levee has broken, and the water is quickly rising. They begin to make their way through the wreckage to the promised safety of the Superdome, with Louis Daniel and his mother riding on a piece of someone s porch as his father pulls them along past a plastic Christmas tree, an eager puppy that they cannot rescue and something that is probably a body in the water. The family makes it to the Superdome, but they eventually find themselves separated. Louis Daniel is sure he has to do something to find his father, but what? And what will happen to the family after they leave the Superdome? And to the friendly dog Louis had to leave behind in the rushing waters? Bootman s gorgeous paintings bring out the resilient character of the city even as he depicts the devastation it suffered. However, it is through the body language and the emotion in the faces of the mostly African-American cast of characters he creates that Bootman most precisely articulates what it was like to live through such a harrowing experience.
Simple, affecting prose and intricate, inspired paintings make this one worth sharing for sure. (author s note). (Picture book. 9-12) --Kirkus Reviews

"...Very realistic children's book to help educate those who were too young to remember. The poignant illustrations portray the story perfectly..." --Mysteries, etc. blog
"...In the six years since hurricane Katrina devastated the Louisiana golf coast; this is the first picture book I have read that captures the pain and devastation in a manner suitable for young children..." --Read it Again Mom blog



Can the enormity of a large-scale tragedy like 9/11, the Japanese tsunami or Hurricane Katrina be conveyed to school-age children without frightening them? How to describe the emotional toll without imposing a burden? It s a difficult balance.

But it s one that the writer Myron Uhlberg and the illustrator Colin Bootman strike gracefully in A Storm Called Katrina, a fictional but realistic account of a 10-year-old boy who lives in New Orleans during the great hurricane of 2005 and its aftermath.
Uhlberg and Bootman, the team behind Dad, Jackie, and Me, tell the story of Louis Daniel (yes, named after that Louis), a budding cornet player from the Ninth Ward, who bridles when his mother says, in the opening line, Hurricane s coming, baby. As he tells her, I m not a baby anymore, Mama.
Still, as the wind picks up, Louis starts to worry, and when he and his parents are forced to evacuate their home, he understandably regresses. I held on to Mama and my horn as tight as I could. The story follows the family as they travel on a slab of broken porch to dry land and eventually to the dubious refuge of the Superdome. Uhlberg captures the events in language that needs no adornment. The air was hot and stinky in the overcrowded stadium. I was tired and hungry and wished we could go home.
A model of understated storytelling, A Storm Called Katrina wisely steers clear of histrionics or political commentary yet remains true to its disturbing subject. The illustrations are equally muted. When Louis wields his broom as an oar to hit a pile of clothes, Bootman shows us nothing more than a shapeless wash of color in the rising waters. Mama covered my eyes. Don t look, Baby, she said. But I couldn t help looking. Bootman s textured oil paintings convey everything young readers need to know in Louis s dark gaze.
And when Louis and his mother become separated from his father, the boy finds the wherewithal, despite his pain and confusion, to devise a plan. Grabbing his cornet, he runs onto the stadium s field. I closed my eyes, lifted my horn, and played a song my granddaddy had taught me, Home, Sweet Home.
By the end, Louis is assuredly a baby no more. Children who read his story will be the wiser for it as well. With an author s note, photographs and a list of resources for children, this moving introduction to Hurricane Katrina imparts its lessons with a restraint that powerfully increases their gravity. --New York Times

"...Very realistic children's book to help educate those who were too young to remember. The poignant illustrations portray the story perfectly..." --Mysteries, etc. blog
"...In the six years since hurricane Katrina devastated the Louisiana golf coast; this is the first picture book I have read that captures the pain and devastation in a manner suitable for young children..." --Read it Again Mom blog

About the Author

Myron Uhlberg is the author of several picture books and the adult memoir Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love¸ which was featured in the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Program. He lives in California.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561455911
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561455911
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,410,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"A Storm Called Katrina" follows a young boy named Louis Daniel who wants to play trumpet like his namesake, Louis Armstrong. His family rides out Hurricane Katrina in the neighborhood of Gentilly, only to have their house inundated with water. Louis, his mother and father flee with Louis grabbing his horn. They make it to the Superdome after a harrowing journey through floodwaters. Once at the Superdome, Louis's father attempts to locate food and water but Louis and his mother must change seats and Louis fears they will be separated. While sunlight pours down from a hole in the Superdome ceiling, Louis plays his trumpet in the hopes his father will hear. Once the family is reunited, they return home, bringing a new family member -- a lost dog -- home in the process. More than just another book on the storm and its aftermaths, the book offers the innocent point of view of a child, reflecting how the storm deeply affected children and their families. Publisher's Weekly called "A Storm Called Katrina" a "deeply personal...look at a disaster whose ramifications are still being felt." Portions of the proceeds from the book's sales will be donated to the Norman Mayer Library in Gentilly.
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Format: Hardcover
Louis Daniel and his parents must quickly leave the house after the levee breaks. The family makes their way to the Superdome. The only thing Louis takes his is trumpet. Readers see the storm through the eyes of 10 yr old Louis and the author does an excellent job of capturing his voice. Much of the story takes place at the Superdome. After the family gets separated, Louis knows just what to do to find his father.

This is a wonderful story about hurricane Katrina. Rather then shy away from the harsh realities of the storm, Uhlberg uses a soft hand to describe what happened. At the center of the story is the family, Bootman's art highlights this point. The illustrations are good and complement the story. The only thing I'd change about is the unimaginative title. Though once I started reading I forget all about it.

This would pair well with A Place Where Hurricanes Happen by Renee Watson. Both stories are about Katrina but are very different.
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Format: Hardcover
A Storm called Katrina by Myron Uhlberg and illustrated by Colin Bootman is a heartbreaking story narrated by 10 year old boy Louis Daniel. This illustrated book tells the story about Louis and his family having to flee their home after Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, and the flood waters start rising around their home. After surviving the flood waters and having to endure other ordeals, such as getting denied a boat ride by strangers, the Daniel family make their way to the Superdome. But once at the Superdome their ordeals don't stop, however, as young Louis and his mother get separated from Louis' father, and Louis also has to endure strange men threatening him for his water bottle. Louis begins to play his trumpet in the Superdome, as beautiful sunlight streams down at him, hoping that his father will hear him. It works, as his father hears him playing, and the family becomes united again.

This story, though heartbreaking, is very moving and will allow adults to discuss Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath with children. The illustrations are beautifully done. This book also deals with the very harsh reality of weather issues and may not be suitable for very young children, as it features dead bodies in the water, people losing their homes, people that have no food and the horrific conditions of the Superdome.

I received this book for free, by the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
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Format: Hardcover
It's hard to believe nearly ten years have passed since Katrina ravages the Gulf Coast. The images of the rooftop rescues, the crowding in the Superdome, the flooded streets, and the collective human misery still seem fresh. In A Storm Called Katrina, writer Myron Uhlberg and illustrator Colin Bootman capture the amazing devastation of Katrina on New Orleans through the eyes of a little boy.

When the storm hits, Louis's family thinks it's like any other hurricane, not an unfamiliar experience for New Orleans residents. When the rain stops and the water starts rising, they realize the levees have failed and they have to flee. They end up heading to the Superdome, where they join thousands of others. On the way, they see lost pets, a dead body floating by, and rescue boats.

Uhlberg and Bootman strike a delicate balance between portraying the harsh reality of the storm and protecting innocent eyes. It's not a political story or an environmental story but a story about one family's difficult experience of sticking together through adversity. Well-told and nicely illustrated, A Storm Called Katrina is a harsh but sensitive reminder of a terrible chapter in our history.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
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Format: Hardcover
Ten-year-old Louis Daniel and his family portray the disaster of Hurricane Katrina on August, 29, 2005. While they are fictional characters, they present the experience of many families in New Orleans, leaving their homes behind, as they searched for shelter, ending up in the Superdome. With moving text and painterly illustrations, children ages 5-8 will be drawn to this powerful picture book.
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