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Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina

Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina
Rodman Philbrick
The Blue Sky Press, 2014
Source: Library audio book
Audience: Children, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick presents a gripping yet poignant novel about a 12-year-old boy and his dog who become trapped in New Orleans during the horrors of Hurricane Katrina.

Zane Dupree is a charismatic 12-year-old boy of mixed race visiting a relative in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. Unexpectedly separated from all family, Zane and his dog experience the terror of Katrina's wind, rain, and horrific flooding. Facing death, they are rescued from an attic air vent by a kind, elderly musician and a scrappy young girl--both African American. The chaos that ensues as storm water drowns the city, shelter and food vanish, and police contribute to a dangerous, frightening atmosphere, creates a page-turning tale that completely engrosses the reader. Based on the facts of the worst hurricane disaster in U.S. history, Philbrick includes the lawlessness and lack of government support during the disaster as well as the generosity and courage of those who risked their lives and safety to help others. Here is an unforgettable novel of heroism in the face of truly challenging circumstances.


Zane and the Hurricane was an action-packed historical fiction book. It reminded me of I Survived - but longer and a little less predictable. My friend said it was an excellent audio book, so I decided to listen to it.

Mistake.

It had an excellent narrator, but I think listening to the story made it far more stressful of an experience.

Ok, so the rest of this review is full of spoilers, but they are all related to one character - Bandit. Proceed with caution.

So, I thought Bandy was going to die three times. The first time when he jumped out of the car, the second was when they were trapped in the attic, and the last was when he was shot later. After he jumped out the car, I was furious when the driver said that they couldn’t turn around or stop. Similar to Zane, I thought that since the car was going so slowly, Zane could grab Bandit and catch up. (And why in the world did Zane not have a LEASH?! That made me the maddest!) Anyway, I was glad that, even though it put himself in danger, Zane went after Bandit because it’s probably what I would have done. I was also glad that they were ok. But then the pup was panting and not well in the attic because of the heat and I was stressed again. I was so glad that True and Melvina came along! Finally, after Bandit got shot, I was sure he was dead. I was relieved to find out that I was wrong, but did Philbrick REALLY need to put the pup in danger THREE TIMES in ONE BOOK. It was just too much for me. However, I do think that most children will find it moving and suspenseful. It might be too tough to read for some more sensitive kids and animal lovers.


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