Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana...

How I Heard About It:  This was a title that I kept seeing mentioned on Twitter.  During one of my many online purchases, I added this title to the cart.  I was excited to read it and see what all the hype was about.  

What It Is About:  Armani is about to turn ten years old.  She is excited for the big celebration.  Armani lives in New Orleans with her parents and siblings.  The birthday celebration is interrupted when Hurricane Katrina hits.  The birthday party has to be cancelled and Armani's family must do everything they can to survive this storm.  The family ends up on the roof of their house and they become separated by the devastation.  Armani ends up with some of her younger siblings and has to take on the "mother" role.  They find a shelter where they spend several days after the hurricane and continue to find ways to survive.  Each member of the family must take on new responsibilities and not only take care of themselves, but each other.  

What I Thought Of It:  I completely enjoyed this novel and read it in a few sittings.  As I read the novel, I couldn't help but be transported back to that August when this terrible weather event hit New Orleans and other parts of the United States.  I enjoyed how this was a work of fiction, but included many real life events, facts, and information.  As devastating as this event was for Armani's family, I liked how each family member relied on each other and did their part to survive.  The plot was faced paced and I thought each of the charters were developed well.  

Who Should Read It:  After I finished this book, I began to think it would make for a great read aloud with my fourth graders.  Each chapter ends with a "cliff hanger" and would keep the listeners on the edge of their seats.  If a reader were to read this on their own, it is best suited for children in grades four through six.  This novel would also be enjoyed by any adult reader that enjoys middle-grade fiction.  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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