Lauren Tarshis. These books are very popular in my elementary school library. Not one of the titles stays on the shelf for long. I decided I needed to read at least one to understand their popularity.
In I Survived: Hurricane Katrina, 2005 we meet Barry Tucker and his family. Barry lives with his parents and younger sister, Cleo, in the lower ninth ward in New Orleans Louisiana. They live in a home that has been in the Tucker family for several generations. Barry remembers stories that his grandfather shared about storms hitting the town of New Orleans and how the levees were built to help keep the town from flooding when future storms hit. When the news tells the people of New Orleans to leave because of hurricane Katrina, which will hit land soon, the Tucker family begin to drive to Texas to stay with family. There are so many cars on the roads that they do not get far from home when Cleo becomes sick. She has a fever and they decide to head back home. Early the next day, their home begins to fill with water. They find safety for a short while in their attic. Barry is the only one who can calm Cleo down as they are together in the dark attic. They hear the water rising in their home and soon the four of them are huddled together on the roof. Barry is knocked off the roof and is swept away in the flood waters. He grabs a tree, climbing to the top for safety. He then jumps into a house that is floating by. In that house, he finds a dog chained to a bed. Barry unties the dog and looks for a safe place for them both. Barry finds the roof of another home where he and the dog stay for a night. He is rescued the next day and is reunited with his family on the St. Claude Avenue Bridge.
Many families were not as lucky as Barry's and many pets were abandoned. The last few pages tell what happened to the people and animals of New Orleans during and after the hurricane. Many facts are shared about natural disasters in the United States and how we can learn from hurricane Katrina to be better prepared for future storms.
After reading this story, I would recommend you spend time as a family creating a plan for what you would do in case of a natural disaster, home fire or other emergency.
Happy Daily Reading