Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans

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Annotation: With kinetic art and compelling narrative, captures the tragedy of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of disaster, bigotry, and official incompetence.
Catalog Number: #138937
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 96 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-58617-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97215-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-58617-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97215-5
Dewey: 363.34
LCCN: 2015458266
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7 Up&12; A murky watercolor storm spreads across pages, darkening and becoming more ominous as it builds in Brown's deeply affecting look at Hurricane Katrina. Dynamic sketches capture shocking scenes, such as residents fleeing down claustrophobic highways as the 400-mile-wide storm looms in a nearly completely dark spread. Brown depicts broken levees, flooded homes, and inhabitants scrabbling to not drown in their attics. A stunningly powerful spread shows water everywhere and two lone people trapped on a roof. The images demonstrate the utter devastation and despair while the at times spare text powerfully reveals the voices of the victims. The many failures of President Bush, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mayor Ray Nagin, and others are repeatedly noted, as is the heroism of various organizations and ordinary people. Brown walks readers through the ghastly conditions at the Superdome, the horrors of hospitals with no electricity, and the nightmarish reality of dead bodies everywhere. The story becomes grimmer at every turn: ineffectual police and rescue efforts, looting, the lack of housing for rescued victims, and 5,000 missing children. The muted watercolors effectively capture the squalid and treacherous conditions of every inch of New Orleans. The final pages show the rebuilding efforts but note the lasting effects of vastly decreased populations. VERDICT This astonishingly powerful look at one of America's worst disasters is a masterful blend of story and art and a required purchase for all libraries.&12; Amanda MacGregor, Great River Regional Library, St. Cloud, MN
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* It has been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and, in the highly capable hands of Brown, the story remains as immediately captivating and tragic as it was in 2005. Told chronologically from the hurricane's seemingly benign origin in West Africa, the story follows the storm almost hourly, revealing every misstep along the way that resulted in so much unnecessary loss. By the time Katrina passed over New Orleans, more than 1,400 people were dead and hundreds of thousands had fled the city. Brown's narrative is clear and precise, relying exclusively on data and statistics interspersed with quotes from residents, rescue crews, journalists, and news reports. Alone, the text might lack impact, but combined with the haunting imagery, it hits readers like a punch in the gut. The illustrations capture the intensity of the disaster with saturated monochromatic panels featuring figures who appear to be literally melting with oppressive heat and fear. Small poignant scenes punctuate the narrative throughout, constantly reminding viewers of the very human costs of the disaster. Spare but emotionally resonant, this outstanding title will appeal to graphic novel and nonfiction readers alike. Highly recommended for all library collections.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 95-96).
Word Count: 3,207
Reading Level: 5.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.6 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 175216 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:7.4 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q66589
Lexile: GN920L

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--andalso 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.

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