Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:30 am

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Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere

Julie T. Lamana

2014

reserve now!

Heather W

Tweens

Chapter book

realistic, families, fiction

In brief

5

A heart-wrenching tale of a New Orleans girl whose 10th birthday falls the same day Hurricane Katrina destroys the city.

Armani Curtis and her family live in New Orleans' lower Ninth Ward. They may not have a lot of material wealth, but they are rich in family and in love. Armani's 10th birthday happens to fall on August 29, 2005, and her long-awaited party is disrupted by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Armani is an incredible and utterly authentic character. She tries to keep news of the evacuation from her parents because, in her child's mind, her party is more important than any storm. She is racked with guilt when her brother and father put themselves in danger because of the puppy she received as a gift. She fights to hold herself and her fractured family together, and is forced to grow up much more quickly than any child should have to.

This is a powerful book about love, family, responsibility and, ultimately, hope. Tween readers who enjoy realistic fiction or are drawn to disaster tales will find much here to hold their interest and will, quite possibly, be forever changed by Armani's journey.