Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina : A Story of Katrina

by Rodman Philbrick

The Blue Sky Press
August 2015

Ages 10 – 13 . Grades 5 – 8

Lexile measure: 860L

DRA: 50

Guided Reading: V

Zane Dupree is a charismatic 12-year-old boy of mixed race visiting a relative in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. Unexpectedly separated from all family, Zane and his dog experience the terror of Katrina's wind, rain, and horrific flooding. Facing death, they are rescued from an attic air vent by a kind, elderly musician and a scrappy young girl--both African American. The chaos that ensues as storm water drowns the city, shelter and food vanish, and police contribute to a dangerous, frightening atmosphere, creates a page-turning tale that completely engrosses the reader. Based on the facts of the worst hurricane disaster in U.S. history, Philbrick includes the lawlessness and lack of government support during the disaster as well as the generosity and courage of those who risked their lives and safety to help others. Here is an unforgettable novel of heroism in the face of truly challenging circumstances.
Rodman Philbrick

Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick has written more than a dozen novels for young readers. In 1993, he published his first children's book, Freak the Mighty, which became an instant classic, and was made into a feature film. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg was a 2010 Newbery Honor Book. Philbrick's other acclaimed novels include Max the Mighty, The Young Man and the Sea, The Last Book in the Universe, Zane and the Hurricane, and Wildfire. Philbrick divides his time between Maine and the Florida Keys. You can learn more about him on his website:


  • Praise for Freak the Mighty

    A School Library Journal Best Book for Young Adults
    A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
    A YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
    An IRA Young Adults' Choices Book
    A winner of the Arizona Young Readers' Award, California Young Reader Medal, Charlotte Award, Golden Sower Award (Nebraska), Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children's Literature (California), Soaring Eagle Book Award (Wyoming)

    * "Max's description of their friendship . . . is gritty, unsentimental, sparked with Freak's wry verbal wit and Max's earthier humor, and ultimately poignant. Easily read but compelling: an intriguing and unusual story."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

    Praise for The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

    A Newbery Honor Book
    A Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee
    An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner
    A New York Public Library's Children's Books 2009: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
    A CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2010

    * "The book wouldn't be nearly as much fun without Homer's tall tales, but there are serious moments, too, and the horror of war and injustice of slavery ring clearly above the din of playful exaggerations."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

    Praise for The Young Man and the Sea

    A Capitol Choice
    A Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice
    A School Library Journal Best Book and starred review

    "Readers will be hooked."--Kirkus Reviews