I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005

by Lauren Tarshis

Other authorsScott Dawson (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2011


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Call number

J Ta


Scholastic Inc. (2011), 117 pages


Barry's family tries to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hits their home in New Orleans. But when Barry's little sister gets terribly sick, they're forced to stay home and wait out the storm. At first, Katrina doesn't seem to be as bad as predicted. But overnight the levees break, and Barry's world is literally torn apart. He's swept away by the floodwaters, away from his family. Can he survive the storm of the century -- alone?

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User reviews

LibraryThing member coby99
I thought it was a good book I like Beery and his mom .
LibraryThing member MASON545
I can't wait until the new book!!!
LibraryThing member trayceetee
Another well-written "I Survived" story. My son and I felt this one started off a bit slowly, but then it picked up the pace and became very engaging.
While I definitely remember Hurricane Katrina, I live in the Midwest and wasn't directly affected by it. Still, I do recall worrying about all the
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victims and their struggles.
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LibraryThing member amccann
First hand story from a child named Barry and his experience with Hurricane Katrina. Like many who lived in New Orleans it was a true disaster and there were many people who couldn't evacuate. Barry and his family were some of those people. His sister ended up getting very sick and would not make
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the travel. The storm started out okay then the levees broke sending waves of water into the towns. Barry is swept away having to learn quickly how to survive on his own.
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LibraryThing member Sheila1957
This is a young boy's story of what happened when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. I could feel the fear he felt and how he tried to be brave. I enjoyed the history given and I was glad of the happy ending for him. I also enjoyed the facts given at the end of the book and the animal rescue story.
LibraryThing member benuathanasia
Even though Tarshis didn't spend much time on the build-up to Katrina, I like how she offered the different perspectives - there's an even divide between "this'll be nothing" and "CRAP! EVACUATE!!!" I also like that there wasn't a cliched reunion with Barry's savior.
LibraryThing member Whisper1
On August 5th, 2015, eleven-year old Barry Tucker lives in the ninth ward on New Orleans, Louisiana. As the hurricane notices were repeated over and over again "Leave Town!" Barry's family packs up and tries to leave. As the depart, the traffic is stalled and is miles long. Barry's little sister is
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sick. Barry's dad turns around and hopes to ride out the storm.

It might have been alright if the leeves in the Ninth Ward had not come apart, spewing millions of gallons of water throughout New Orleans, but in particular, the Ninth Ward was hit the hardest. With 125 mile per hour winds, Barry's family lose their house as the water continues to flood, and they head to the attic. Fortunately, years ago, Barry's grandfather left an ax in the corner of the attic, knowing a large storm will someday hit the area.

As the family tries to survive, Barry becomes lost from his family. Clinging to a large tree, Barry Rescuing his friends dog, they are saved by a brave young woman in a large yellow raft who is trying her best to navigate through the snakes, the torn-apart houses, the oil and all the debre. She takes Barry to a bridge when he is incredibly lucky in finding his family.

Fast forward to a few years later when only 19% of people have returned to the Ninth Ward. Barry's family flees to Texas and then they land in New York where a job awaits his father.
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LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
Barry and his family try to evacuate from their New Orleans home when they hear how bad Hurricane Katrina is predicted to be, but circumstances stop them from doing so ... and soon they will learn firsthand just how awful this storm is.

So for many years now, I've been seeing these "I Survive" books
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fly off the shelves at libraries and have wondered what makes them so great that kids love them immensely. I decided to download several e-book titles to evaluate them, selecting some books with events I knew a decent amount about already, events I knew a little bit about already, and events I really didn't know anything about previously. This book fits into the first category.

Perhaps because I lived through Katrina (thankfully, somewhere away from the storm and safe but I did see tons of news coverage before, during, and after the storm), this book wasn't as thrilling as I expected this series would be; I knew what to expect from the Superdome overcrowding to the levees breaking. I found myself having a hard time getting into it at first and I'm not quite sure why. The chapters are short and try to end on cliff-hanger type moments, which worked really well in the latter part of the book. But the beginning was a little too much laying the scene and felt a lot like any other standard mass market children's book introducing the family, a best friend, and a bullying neighbor. Once the story got going, I was little more into it but the story did seem too 'fresh' for me still. Of course, for the target audience, 2005 is before most of them were born so it is likely not going to have that affect on them.

Back matter includes an author's note questioning the failure of leadership that made Katrina such a disaster as well as a few quick facts about the storm. Illustrations throughout the book are not strictly necessary but they are good addition. This title features a cast of almost all Black characters, which is good from a diversity standpoint given that I don't believe that's true for most of the other books in the series. Some references to jazz and other cultural gems of New Orleans are also a nice touch.
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Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Fiction — 2015)
Iowa Children's Choice Award (Nominee — 2013)


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