Zane and the Hurricane, A Story of Katrina, by Rodman Philbrick, was quite an adventure. Very well written and quite enlightening, in my humble opinion.
This is a story of a young boy named Zane, whose father was killed in a tragic accident before Zane was born. Zane's mother has searched for years for any relatives from her husband's side of the family, but she had sketchy details to begin with, and they weren't all accurate.
Now she has found Zane's great-grandmother, who lives in New Orleans. She packs Zane up and sends him off for an exciting summer adventure to meet this new-found relative and to possibly learn a bit more about his father's side of the family. Zane's wonder dog, Bandit, naturally comes along for the ride.
And it's a wild ride, for sure. Zane and his great-grandmother, Miss Trissy, are still in the stages of getting to know one another when disaster strikes in the form of Hurricane Katrina. As they're packing up their meager belongings in preparation for evacuation, Miss Trissy shares stories with Zane of past hurricanes. Stories that later help save his life.
Of course, if the evacuation went smoothly, the story would have been very short. I will warn that this book is a bit graphic in some of its details, but it's well worth the read. There's no sugar coating in this tale of disaster, and friendship, and the true meaning of family. I recommend this for the upper middle grade readers who can handle some fairly serious subject matter.