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Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the sixth book in the “I Survived” series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Eleven-year-old Barry Tucker lives with his parents and little sister, Cleo, in New Orleans’ lower ninth ward. Barry and his friend Jay work eagerly on the superhero cartoon they plan to enter in a contest soon. They avoid a bully named Abe and his scary dog, Cruz. Like most people in their neighborhood, they pay little attention to the repeated warnings on the radio concerning a massive hurricane. When evacuations become mandatory, Barry and his family pack up to leave the city.

The Tuckers spend several hours on the crowded road out of town, barely moving. Cleo begins vomiting repeatedly because of a stomach virus. The family decides they’d better return home and hope for the best. A day or so later, wind and water begin to pummel the house. Barry and his family retreat to the attic. Eventually, Dad has to tear a hole in the roof with an axe. They huddle on the roof together, but Barry falls off. He is swept into the rushing water.

Barry clutches a tree for a while, until a house floats by and comes crashing into it. Barry grabs onto the house and pulls himself inside. He discovers it is Abe’s house, and the scary dog is lurking below. Barry realizes Cruz is scared, too, and he needs help. He pulls the dog to a higher place in the floating house, then gives him food and water.

The two struggle to survive when Cruz falls off the house and Barry goes in after him. They are eventually rescued by a worker in a boat and taken to one of the city’s many shelters. Barry is thrilled and relieved to be reunited with his family there.

After leaving New Orleans a few days later, Barry’s father gets a job offer at a music school in New York. Jay’s family is in another city, but the boys still make long-distance plans to recreate their superhero comic. Since Abe can no longer keep Cruz, Barry takes him. The new people they meet in New York are always fascinated to hear the stories from Hurricane Katrina.

Christian Beliefs

A rescue worker whispers a prayer under her breath.

Other Belief Systems

None

Authority Roles

Barry has two loving parents. His dad, a jazz musician, remains calm under pressure and has taught his son to do the same. A rescue worker saves Barry and assures him he has the strength to get through this crisis.

Profanity/Violence

The word bejesus appears.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

The author includes historical information about Hurricane Katrina at the end of the book.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

10 to 12

Author

Lauren Tarshis

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Scholastic Inc.

Released

On Video

Year Published

2011

Awards

CLAU Beehive Book Award, 2015

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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