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Author: Patrick, Denise Lewis
The weekend she turns thirteen, aspiring clothing designer Teresa "Reesie" Boone is separated from her family by Hurricane Katrina but, during the horrific storm and its aftermath, begins to find strength in herself.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 176323
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 67146
School Library Journal (+) (00/06/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2015 Living in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Teresa (Reesie) Boone plans to spend her thirteenth birthday party debuting a special dress she made—she aspires to be a fashion designer—and relishing neighbor Miss Martine’s coconut cake. Even the worry of Hurricane Katrina can’t dampen her excitement, especially since her father insists it’s just another regular storm. By the time they realize it’s a real threat, it’s too late to evacuate. With both parents trapped at work, Reesie spends her birthday holed up with Miss Martine; and as the storm rolls in, the power goes out, and the water rises. Patrick captures Reesie’s terror in ways young readers will relate to—not just her fear of the dark and the flooding but also of being separated from her parents and responsible for her own rescue. The aching loss of the aftermath—Reesie’s lingering guilt over losing important possessions at the evacuation center; her difficulty processing the “bigness” of the destruction; the financial and marital problems engulfing her parents—is sensitively portrayed. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Reesie Boone's been looking forward to her 13th birthday for a long time. As her big day approaches, people are focused on a hurricane warning, and everyone's leaving New Orleans. Reesie's family is staying put despite evacuation warnings; her father is a policeman and can't miss work. Hurricane Katrina hits while Reesie is at the neighbor's house picking up her birthday cake. Rising water forces everyone in the house up to the attic, where they chop a hole through the roof and are picked up by a rescue boat. That's just the beginning of Reesie's trouble. Her mother can't forgive her father for putting his job before his family, and takes Reesie back to her hometown in New Jersey, where she must process the trauma she's gone through as well as the loss of her home and everything she owns, and living apart from her father. Patrick does an superb job conveying the way Hurricane Katrina impacted families in New Orleans. Though important lessons can be learned from the book, the narrative allows readers to discover them organically. The pacing of the book mirrors the build up of the storm, starting out slowly, and picking up momentum. The nearly yearlong span helps readers understand that traumatic experiences take time to process. Patrick excels at creating believable, multigenerational communities. Main and secondary characters are profoundly impacted by their experiences during the hurricane. Reesie's character intentionally evolves from a protected, fairly self-involved young teen to a complex character recovering from depression and shock. Though Reesie lives through a national disaster, something most readers will not have experienced, her voice and concerns are authentic and relatable. VERDICT A powerful read for middle grade readers already familiar with the hurricane or those learning about it for the first time.—Juliet Morefield, Multnomah County Library, OR - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.