A Place Where Hurricanes Happen

Overview

Natural and man-made disasters are becoming more commonplace in children's lives, and this touching free-verse picture book provides a straightforward account of Hurricane Katrina. In alternating voices, four friends describe their lives before, during, and after the storm and how, even though the world can change in a heartbeat, people define the character of their community and offer one another comfort and hope even in the darkest hours.
Adrienne, Keesha, Michael, and Tommy ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $4.50   
  • New (10) from $9.99   
  • Used (9) from $4.50   
A Place Where Hurricanes Happen

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

Natural and man-made disasters are becoming more commonplace in children's lives, and this touching free-verse picture book provides a straightforward account of Hurricane Katrina. In alternating voices, four friends describe their lives before, during, and after the storm and how, even though the world can change in a heartbeat, people define the character of their community and offer one another comfort and hope even in the darkest hours.
Adrienne, Keesha, Michael, and Tommy have been friends for forever. They live on the same street—a street in New Orleans where everyone knows everybody. They play together all day long, every chance they get. It's always been that way. But then people start talking about a storm headed straight for New Orleans. The kids must part ways, since each family deals with Hurricane Katrina in a different manner. And suddenly everything that felt like home is gone.
Renée Watson's lyrical free verse is perfectly matched in Shadra Strickland's vivid mixed media art. Together they celebrate the spirit and resiliency of New Orleans, especially its children.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Strickland's (Bird) quietly powerful watercolors make this story of four fictional Ninth Ward children caught in Hurricane Katrina especially affecting. As firsttime author Watson moves among the perspectives of the children--Adrienne, Michael, Keesha, and Tommy--Strickland presents scenes of everyday life, the fearsomeness of the storm itself (a wordless spread shows blocks of tidy houses up to their roofs in water), the wreckage, and the rebuilding. Before Katrina, the children play hide-and-seek and ride their bicycles together. They know Katrina is coming, but expect little harm: "The sky don't look gray at all./ Seems like the sun is gonna shine forever," says Adrienne. Some relocate, some remain, though the children are reunited in a homecoming that brings muted joy; some of their neighbors are gone forever. But Katrina is not all there is of New Orleans, and when they gather in their much-changed neighborhood a year later, they agree: "We're from New Orleans,/ a place where hurricanes happen./ But that's only the bad side." In the same way, although Watson's story delivers some difficult emotional blows, it has plenty of sweetness, too. Ages 7-10. (June)
Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed.
New Orleans suffered much over a long history as a major metropolitan city located below sea level, and yet also has mighty triumphs that create unique flavors, traditions, and venues. However, when Hurricane Katrina roared through the Gulf Coast in August 2005, few expected the area to recover past glories or return its citizens to their homes. Most thankfully, there are deep bonds that nothing can break no matter what unexpected circumstances intervene. Adrienne, Michael, Keesha, and Tommy tell of personal experiences in alternating free verse showcasing their lives through a connected, vibrant lens. Mixed-media illustrations bring them to life as if we are also part of individual families and neighborhoods. We learn about siblings, games they play, differences as well as similarities, imaginations, preparations for the impending storm, and even about multiple bears. Some children had to deal with leaving New Orleans for safe locations like Baton Rouge and Houston, those who remained witnessed Hurricane Katrina's fierce effects as did Keesha and Michael. Descriptions of what happens with each friend are vivid with detailed reflections as we gain a sense of community through those young eyes. Coping skills were scarce at first, but surfaced more and more with each passing hour as rescue teams arrived, families relocated, neighbors reunited, and basic necessities were provided. Most difficult to accept as the days and weeks went by were those who would not return, those who would be gone forever in Heaven. Michael kept saying, "Things aren't what they used to be" as he and his family returned home after six months living in a shelter. Keesha and Adrienne exchanged letters while apart so that their friendship would remain protected and secure. "Don't forget I'm still your best friend," wrote Keesha. Tommy saw much television coverage as he managed in an overcrowded Houston household while wondering about his three friends. Finally, they too were able to reunite at last. When Adrienne and her granny brought gifts for the other three, Michael tells us what that was like and how they all decided to do something very special in their neighborhood. They placed a lovely wreath of flowers and a picture on Michael's tree. Now it was clear no one was forgotten whether they came back or not. Adrienne sums up with wise perspective, how people are "tough because of the things they've been through, the things they've seen." It is possible that some things stay the same, some things change, and that friendships do indeed last. Among the kindred spirits who lived through the catastrophe, much more needed to be healed than physical damage. In fact, time does bridge huge gaps in marvelous ways, particularly when it seems utterly impossible. Note: as a sensitive picture book expressing real events with shining hope, adults should still be prepared to answer questions in appropriate ways about emotional topics and related issues. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed.
Kirkus Reviews
"We're from New Orleans, a place where hurricanes happen." Four friends, who live on the same street and play together every day, describe in alternating first-person voices (with gentle, appropriate dialect) how Hurricane Katrina flooded their lives. As Adrienne, Michael, Keesha and Tommy express their feelings and describe the reactions of their families, readers will sense the community spirit and the resilience of the people of New Orleans. Two of the children evacuate with their families while the others remain, providing a snapshot of representative experiences. From traffic snarls to lengthy lines waiting for buses to losing a teddy-bear collection, the combination of the free verse and Strickland's mixed-media illustrations realistically convey and personalize the effects of the disaster, all the while keeping the book age-appropriate. The characters are fictional, but the impact of the hurricane on people's lives is real as conveyed through these children's eyes. (Picture book. 7-10)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375856099
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 646,108
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Renée Watson has worked as a teaching-artist for more than ten years, teaching creative writing and theater to elementary, middle and high school students. In 2006 Renée travelled to New Orleans where she facilitated poetry and theater workshops with children coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Renée lives in New York, New York. This is her first picture book. You can visit Renée online at www.reneewatson.net.

In 2009, Shadra Strickland received the American Library Association's John Steptoe Award for New Talent and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for Bird, her first picture book. Shadra visited New Orleans to research this book, and she was awed by the art scene, the rich culture, and the wonderful people of the city. Shadra lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)