Thursday, December 11, 2014

History's Greatest Disasters: Hurricane Katrina

History's Greatest Disasters:  Hurricane Katrina
Peggy Caravantes
Minneapolis:  ABDO, 2014, Ages 8-13

This book is about the tragic U.S. natural disaster that occurred in 2005 within New Orleans, Louisana, which is known as Hurricane Katrina. The author, Peggy Caravantes, wrote the book to inform the audience of the history of Hurricane Katrina, as well as the efforts taken after the event to rebuild the city of New Orleans. By breaking up the book into five chapters, One: A Storm Is Born, Two: Landfall, Three: Suffering In New Orleans, Four: Facing the Aftermath, and Five: Moving Forward, the audience is shown how the event of Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath progressed from start to finish. To visually show this progression Caravantes uses a lot of charts, and photographs to show how Katrina started as a small scale storm, and eventually became a Category 5 hurricane.

I personally love the writing style Caravantes uses within the book because it is concise, as well as easy to read. The book is very factual so rather than making the book wordy, Caravantes rather just states facts. For example, the first sentence of Chapter Four states, "Eighty percent of New Orleans was underwater after Hurricane Katrina" (29). Making the text very clear and concise allows young adolescents to get the necessary information they need, which is an upside to the book. 

The primary medium being used as visual aids are photographs. Since Hurricane Katrina was a more recent event in our nation's history many photos can be found about the event and therefore many photographs are used within the book. Each photograph is placed appropriately and effectively to get the message across of what each page was trying to convey. The most effective photo that I believe develops the story as a whole is the aerial shot of the seating in the Superdome on page 14. I believe this is a very effective photo because it shows how many people were displaced due to Hurricane Katrina and therefore forced into shelters, such as the Superdome. 

 In my opinion, this book is fantastic! It is full of very detailed and factual information that is relevant to the topic of the book. I would definitely recommend the book to young adolescents interested in Earth Science or a child that is interested in History. I would recommend the book to young adolescents because the book is of shorter length with a basic level of text. Overall, I think History's Greatest Disasters: Hurricane Katrina is a very informative book that places emphasis on a very important event in our nation's history.

Reviewed by J. Gilbride

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