Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

by Don Brown

An informative and deeply moving chronicle of Hurricane Katrina opens as “a... read more

An informative and deeply moving chronicle of Hurricane Katrina opens as “a swirl of unremarkable wind leaves Africa and breezes toward the Americas. It draws energy from the warm Atlantic water and grows in size.” As he did in The Great American Dust Bowl, Don Brown offers a factual account that makes brilliant use of the graphic novel form to provide information and to underscore the human impact and toll of a disaster. As the storm builds and unleashes its power, it wreaks havoc—on levees and on neighborhood and on people, so many people. Some of those affected wouldn’t leave the city of New Orleans. Most of them couldn’t, and this becomes an integral part of the narrative. Failures pile up: empty Amtrak trains leave the city when Amtrak’s offer of transport was ignored, thousands of people are stuck in misery at the convention center, police who desert their posts, even joining the looting. The travesties go on and on. But there is courage and compassion, too, including many who risked their lives to help others. Brown pulls no punches in a book offering a clear and critical point of view. The straightforward presentation of grim and sometimes shocking facts paired with emotionally rich images results in a work that is powerful, poignant, and sometimes haunting. Documentation includes extensive source notes for this notable work. (Age 11 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

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