Sibert Honor Medalist ∙ Kirkus’ Best of 2015 list ∙ School Library Journal Best of 2015 ∙ Publishers Weekly’s Best of 2015 list ∙ Horn Book Fanfare Book ∙ Booklist Editor's Choice
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality.
Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history. A portion of the proceeds from this book has been donated to Habitat for Humanity New Orleans.
Brown follows The Great American Dust Bowl (2013) with the story of the hurricane that destroyed New Orleans. He traces the sequence of events that left the flood levees breached and the city flooded with "a disgusting stew of oil, seawater, feces, rubber tires, foul linen, house paint, shattered lumber, and rot of all kinds." It's a grim, heartrending account. Thousands were stranded in venues utterly lacking in supplies or facilities. The crucial question of why the city's African-American community suffered disproportionately is not dealt with on its face, but Brown's artwork reflects the city's diversity, and he recounts the victims' indignities and outrages with deep sympathy. The author quotes President George W. Bush's fulsome words for the head of FEMA "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" then observes, "The President's praise confuses many Americans." Lively, dynamic sketching gives the artwork a sense of urgency and immediacy. It is as important to tell the story of a nation's failures as it is to record its triumphs, and this is a crucial contribution. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The drowned city
The book was good the artwork was amazing but it was bland at the same time
I learned something from the book, but it was hard to read due to the type of font. We read it in an hour, and were surprised it went so fast. We were hoping for a novel on the subject, but the story was interesting.