Anticipation, fear, excitement, and dread coalesce as a girl’s 13th birthday collides with a terrible force of nature: Hurricane Katrina.
Teresa Arielle Boone is a high-spirited girl living in the 9th Ward of sultry New Orleans. In this summer of 2005, Reesie can’t wait to celebrate her upcoming birthday. However, upon overhearing tourists discuss a hurricane that has devastated parts of Florida, disbelief and fear bubble up inside Reesie. Now the storm is heading for New Orleans. When Reesie's parents argue over whether or not to leave town to avoid the storm, she feels shaken, yet she’s still determined to prepare for her party. Readers will feel the twinned pulls of elation and apprehension. The anticipation is palpable. So is the desperate, futile hope that everything will be all right. When the storm finally hits, Lewis slams readers and Reesie alike with an impact that reverberates long after the skies have cleared. Reesie has inherited her Ma Maw’s style as well as her sewing machine. She’s a girl with dreams and ambition who can’t imagine being derailed by anything, and readers will understand her aching vulnerability as she confronts a force even she can’t control. Patrick builds to the climax beautifully and delivers a character who puts readers in the moment.
A perfect storm of suspense and fine character building. (Historical fiction. 8-12)