What It Is About: Evangeline Riley is about to turn sixteen and is living in a small village in southern Louisiana. She has a simple life, but enjoys it. That is until Hurricane Katrina hits. She and her family escape just before the storm hits. Unfortunately that isn't the case for one of Evangeline's best friends. She and her family decide to wait out the storm in their home. Evangeline's family make their way to Atlanta to take refuge with an aunt. They aren't sure what the path of destruction has done to their home, but are happy to have each other and made it to safety. Evangeline and her siblings begin at a new high school and try to move forward while being displaced. Evangeline meets another student that is a "refugee" and they begin to spend time together. After a disappointing outcome in Atlanta, Evangeline's family eventually return to Louisiana. They aren't sure what they will find or what life will hand them, but are ready to get back to the place they call home.
What I Thought Of It: A really beautifully told story. I've read a few other stories that center around Hurricane Katrina, but this particular story felt different from the others. The book was very character driven and focused on the relationships that Evangeline had with a variety of people. I enjoyed how the author took a realistic view of what an event like this could do to a family. It was eye-opening to read about people dealing with a tragedy like this storm. While the plot didn't solely focus on the storm itself, I did learn a great deal about this historical event and its effect on the residents of Louisiana. I can see many high-school readers enjoying this young-adult novel.
Who Should Read It: I could see this book being used in high-school English classes. There are so many themes, lessons, and topics that could be covered while reading the story. Female readers may tend to be a better audience being the story focuses on Evangeline. I'm sure adult readers would also enjoy the journey of a family struggling for survival and coming out on the other end of a tragedy.
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars