Hurricane Song

Hurricane Song

3.6 16
by Paul Volponi
     
 

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When Miles's mother remarries, Miles decides to move to New Orleans to be with his father. But he and his father are very different? Miles's dad lives for jazz, while Miles's first love is football. Then Hurricane Katrina hits, and the two must seek refuge in the Superdome. What would normally be a dream come true for a football fan, this safe haven turns into

Overview

When Miles's mother remarries, Miles decides to move to New Orleans to be with his father. But he and his father are very different? Miles's dad lives for jazz, while Miles's first love is football. Then Hurricane Katrina hits, and the two must seek refuge in the Superdome. What would normally be a dream come true for a football fan, this safe haven turns into a nightmare when the power fails and gangs take over. And when his father decides to rebel, Miles must make a choice that will alter their relationship? and their lives-forever.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This powerful tale is a quick but indelible read. -Kliatt, starred review
Vicki Sherbert
News stories reported the devastating experiences of the citizens of New Orleans as they sought refuge in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. In Hurricane Song, Paul Volponi gives us a more intimate look at this tragic event through the eyes of Miles, a sophomore focused on his future with the football team who is ambivalent to his father's career as a jazz musician. When their plan for evacuating New Orleans fails, Miles, his father, and his uncle head toward the Superdome to ride out the storm and then return to their home. What Miles witnessed and experienced there caused him to question his faith in his fellow man and strengthened his commitment to his father and family. Volponi's frank descriptions and characterization give the reader a taste of what it was like for those waiting for rescue and relief, as well as those who returned home to find nothing. Despite the devastation, Miles and his family exemplify the spirit of New Orleans: the spirit of hope. Reviewer: Vicki Sherbert
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
Miles had always dreamed of going to the Superdome, but as a football player—not as a refugee from Hurricane Katrina. Along with his jazz musician father and his uncle, Miles must cope with the horrific conditions there as the storm hits, and afterward—not just the crowds, the noise, and the heat, but the lack of food and supplies and the menacing guards, as well as gangs vying for turf, shaking people down and threatening worse things to come. Music offers one way to escape, but in the end Miles's dad, worried about what's happened to all the city's jazz joints he knows and loves so well, sees a chance to break out and takes it—and Miles goes after him. This powerful tale of the evolution of the relationship between a boy and his father, played out against the devastation caused by the hurricane, is a quick but indelible read. The power of the storm and the hellish conditions in the Superdome are vividly and succinctly described. Readers will empathize with Miles as he attempts to do the right thing in extraordinary conditions, and acquits himself like a man. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Set in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Paul Volponi's novel (Viking, 2008) provides a graphic description of the horrors that ensued during the evacuation and for those who took shelter in the Superdome—no electricity or running water, and groups of thugs competing for turf. Sixteen-year-old Miles and his musician father and uncle seek shelter in the Superdome after their car overheats during their evacuation. Miles and his dad have only been living together for a couple of months and are still trying to reach common ground between his father's love of music and the teen's love of football. It is music, however, that is the catalyst that brings the two together after Miles's father rebels against the rules set by the Superdome's weekend soldiers. Jacob C. Norman does a good job of voicing Miles and his father, but does not clearly differentiate between the other characters. Their eventual journey to Seattle and return to New Orleans is related in an epilogue. Versions of "When the Saints Go Marching In," sung by Norman slightly off key, opens every chapter. Jazz riffs play at the opening and closing credits. An additional purchase.—Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
Kirkus Reviews
Volponi leaves his usual basketball milieu behind and sets his story in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina, with football and music as his themes. Miles lives with his mother in Chicago, but when she remarries, he chooses to live with his trumpeter dad and Uncle Roy, another musician, hoping to make his mark at his new school in football. Miles knows he'll have to take care of himself whenever music calls because his father puts his music before anything else. Hurricane Katrina sets the rhythm and the scene as the three try to leave the city only to end up stuck in the Superdome. What begins as something of a lark gradually morphs into an ordeal out of nightmares. As the hurricane ratchets up in intensity, so does the need for Dad, Miles and Uncle Roy to discover what matters to them and how to defend it. Not for sissies-a riveting and readable exploration of the effects of race in today's world. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142414187
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/25/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
333,914
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Paul Volponi is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novel Black & White. From 1992 to 1998, he taught adolescents on Rikers Island in New York City to read and write. Mr. Volponi worked at a day treatment center like Daytop teaching students and helping them prepare for the GED. Mr. Volponi lives in New York City.

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Hurricane Song 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Miles has been living in Chicago with his mother and has recently moved to New Orleans to live with his father. His father left the family years ago to play jazz music. Miles knows that his father's life is his music, but when his mother remarried and the family in Chicago increased by three kids, he knew he had no choice. Taking a chance on his father seemed like the only way to go. So far, the two months father and son have spent together haven't been all that great. Miles is looking forward to playing football and maybe even making the varsity team at his new school. Unfortunately, he knows he probably won't see his dad at any of his games. His dad can't even remember that it's football Miles plays and not basketball. When news that a huge hurricane is heading toward New Orleans reaches them, Miles, his father, and his uncle pile into the car with the idea of heading toward Baton Rouge and higher ground. The traffic is terrible, and the car soon overheats, leaving them stranded on the highway. As the storm gets closer, their only option is to follow the rest of the evacuees to the shelter at the Superdome. In the several days Miles and his family spend at the Superdome, the storm batters the exterior of the massive building while the interior suffers from a "storm" of its own. When tired, frightened people are crowded into a facility not equipped to handle the situation, there are bound to be problems. In those few days, Miles experiences horribly unsanitary conditions, watches as thugs threaten, beat, and steal from innocent people, and sees death and suffering no person should ever have to witness. Most of us watched the drama of Katrina unfold on our TVs, but Miles's experience brings us the reality of the actual storm and those first days afterward. Sadly, many are still suffering and trying to recover years later. Everyone should read this book as a reminder that our country reacted poorly in the early stages of the disaster, and even at this late date, not enough has been done to help rebuild the lives of so many.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brianna didn't know where Mantala or Ezumalid might have gone. "Please guys, I need to show you guys something," Brianna told Wenalt and Dion. Dion reluctantly came but Wenalt didn't. Brianna had seen hoofprints where they started from the campfire. "Wait," Wenalt was thinking,"I think this MIGHT be a trap or the wrong direction because the other night, I couldn't get sleep so I headed over a tree to think and I saw hoofs leading off to another place." Brianna and probably were both puzzled and confused. "Please,"Wenalt put his hand to his head and said,"Don't you remember the guards searching for any clues? Well if you do, I saw them ride off in the same direction you indicated, Brianna. The soldiers with Ezumalid went in the direction I indicated. How about me and Brianna search for Mantala where the direction the soldiers searching left and you, Dion, go in the direction where I'll show you next where Ezumalid got captured?" They both nodded. Brianna agreed to wait at the campsite. As Wenalt went to show Dion, he realized something. The tracks ere gone. "What? They had to be...no..." Wenalt frantically searched around. "Wenalt, they were from...like...2 days ago! They probably got dusted over! I'll go searching anyway," and then Dion disappeared.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't understand why there isn't an actual sample of the book. What is the point in offering a sample, if you are'nt going to let the viewer read aa little of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not a review. This is my message to that little idiot wasting review space with his stupid Warriors RPs. Stop it, you are annoying all of us looking for actual reviews!
dhsfastlane More than 1 year ago
I would have to say that this is a really good book. The whole time i was reading it i was excited about what was going to happen next. I loved how they made a book that disscusses this wild and destructing hurricane. I think this is most likely one of the best books ive ever seen. Its kind of slow, but all together it comes out spectacular. Dont get me wrong though Paul Volponi could have talked about the society and how people use different race as an excuse to act in such a manner in this book. To me this is a book i would recomend to everyone.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Like VOYA says in its review-- This is either the best YA book of 2008 or the most important. I agree.
Tirlee More than 1 year ago
One of the recurring themes was race, and it should have been explored more. Paul Volponi should have dug deeper and written more about how racism affects our society today and what it means to be a specific race. It was still an okay book though, I just think that it could have been better.