Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith | Review

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Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith | ReviewAnother Kind of Hurricane on July 14, 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

In this stunning debut novel, two very different characters—a black boy who loses his home in Hurricane Katrina and a white boy in Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident—come together to find healing.   A hurricane, a tragic death, two boys, one marble. How they intertwine is at the heart of this beautiful, poignant book. When ten-year-old Zavion loses his home in Hurricane Katrina, he and his father are forced to flee to Baton Rouge. And when Henry, a ten-year-old boy in northern Vermont, tragically loses his best friend, Wayne, he flees to ravaged New Orleans to help with hurricane relief efforts—and to search for a marble that was in the pocket of a pair of jeans donated to the Red Cross.   Rich with imagery and crackling with hope, this is the unforgettable story of how lives connect in unexpected, even magical, ways.   “In Smith’s poetic hands, this poignant story barrels across the pages and into the reader’s heart, reminding us that magic can arise from the deepest tragedy.” —Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor Award winner and two-time National Book Award Finalist

(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)
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Another Kind of Hurricane was my first-ever Hurricane Katrina book, and I have to say, it blew me away. Zavion lives down in New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina hit the hardest. His bedroom at home had a mural of Grandmother Mountain with his mom’s face painted on it, since she passed away, though the night that the Hurricane hit was the last time he’d ever see that painting. All that he has left from his home are two shingles from the roof. He and his father scavenge local shops in order to get some food, and have to hitch a ride to Baton Rouge in order to stay with people they know.

Henry lives in Vermont. Very recently, his friend died when the two of them were up on Mount Mansfield, and Henry completely blames himself even though it wasn’t his fault. Death is usually nobody’s fault. He and his friend who died, Wayne, always had a marble that they shared. They’d give it back and forth between each other, saying that it was lucky. However, Wayne died with it in his pants pocket. At the funeral, Henry took the marble back. Sadly, a few weeks later, Henry left the marble in his jeans which his mother sent down to New Orleans.  He goes on a trip in order to get his marble back, only to find that it ended up with Zavion and his father!

I love how the two boy’s lives were intertwined in this book. They ended up meeting by the strangest of incidents, and became very great friends. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to live through Hurricane Katrina. It must have been so incredibly horrible.

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I did have a connection with Henry, as I have grown up in Vermont too. We got hit by Hurricane Irene a while back and that was really rough, though nowhere near as bad as Hurricane Katrina. It’s also cool that the author lived in Vermont too! I’d definitely suggest giving this one a read.

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  1. This sounds like a great story. How young of a reader do you think this would be appropriate for? I think it would be good for my kids, for learning about empathy and gratitude. But I'm careful about age-appropriateness. 🙂

  2. This sounds so good! I actually have an ARC of it but I'm horrible at keeping up with my ARCs so I haven't read it yet. Your review definitely makes me excited to get to it, though.

    Great review and glad you enjoyed this one. =)

  3. Sounds interesting! It's always special when you can find something relatable in a book- in this one, not quite a happy connection with the hurricanes, but still.. :)) Lovely review, glad you liked it!

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