The Return of Fall Rains

16 Sep

Almost everyone I know is relieved at the weather change. Fall seems to be back: they sky is grey and it seems to have rained overnight. A big El Niño debate is raging: will it be really rainy or really cold?

One of my first winters in Portland, an El Niño year,  it was so rainy they sand bagged downtown for fear the Willamette River would overflow. It didn’t, but floods certainly happened in outlying areas.

This gets me thinking about Don Brown’s new nonfiction book Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans.

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This is a stunning graphic chronicle of the tragedy that hit New Orleans in 2005. As with The Great Dust Bowl, the illustrations are powerful and the text combines facts and details that attest to wide research and reading on Brown’s part.

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Brown does not shy away from telling the hard parts of this story, in addition to the heroic. Graphic nonfiction makes for an easy way to build students’ background knowledge of events that happened before they were born or before they can remember. This book will be an excellent addition to any classroom library.

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