Hurricane Song by Paul Volponi

 Hurricane Song is a story about a father and son in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.  I picked this up off the new books display at the local library and wow.  This is a difficult book to read, but one that I imagine will become more popular as we move on from Hurricane Katrina.

Miles is living with his dad, a jazz musician, in New Orleans when Katrina hits.  They evacuate to the Superdome when their car breaks down on the freeway out of town.  Their experiences in the Superdome are absolutely horrific.  I found myself having to put the book down sometimes because it was so difficult to read.  Powerful and important, I can see this becoming a part of high school or college reading in the future, when the pain from Katrina isn’t so fresh.  

Be aware, this is not a middle grades book.  It is definitely YA, due to language and the things that Miles and his family experience.  I would even recommend this to adults, due to the power of Volponi’s descriptions of this national, natural disaster.

3 Responses

  1. I actually found myself physically getting nervous as I read about their experiences in the dome. My heart was racing, my palms were sweating, and I had to put it down and tell myself, “You are NOT there! Stop freaking out!”

  2. Thanks for the kind words about Hurricane Song. In Feb, I will have a novel out called Response, based on a real-life NYC hate crime. I hope you will read it. –Paul Volponi

  3. As much as I loved this book I truly hate the fact that the author found it necessary to use such fowl language. I know that reality is that such language was really used and he was staying true to the story, but I will not be able to use it in my class due to the language. This book is an ideal read for my Louisiana History class; however, Louisiana history is taught in the 8th grade and I don’t think my students will be mature enough to handle the language or my parents open enough to allow it. This book is at a high school level, but it will be very difficult for any high school history teacher to incorporate this content into the curriculum as no focus is placed on LA history is high school. Its a shame. I’m debating on reading it anyway and just crossing out all of the bad words.

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