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12 stories about hurricanes and other disasters caused by weather

By Common Sense Media (Tns) - | Sep 11, 2017

In the wake of the destruction waged by Hurricane Harvey on Southeast Texas, and as we remember the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans on the storm’s 12th anniversary, these books, movies, and TV shows can provide talking points, historical perspective, and lessons in courage, resilience, compassion, and hope.

–“Ninth Ward”

By Jewell Parker Rhodes

Recommended for ages 10 and older

This novel about how Hurricane Katrina affects a brave 12-year-old girl will carry younger readers through the tragedy at an appropriate level of understanding, with lots of room for discussion for those who wish to know more about it.

(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011

–“Saint Louis Armstrong Beach”

By Brenda Woods

Recommended for ages 10 and older

This 5-star book about a boy who risks everything to find his dog after Hurricane Katrina offers lessons in loyalty and responsibility.

(Nancy Paulsen Books, 2011)

–“Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere”

By Julie T. Lamana

Recommended for ages 10 and up

Powerful, unflinching story about a 10-year-old African-American girl who survives Katrina reveals devastating repercussions of the hurricane on the Lower Ninth Ward.

(Chronicle Books, 2014)

–“Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina”

By Rodman Philbrick

Recommended for ages 10 and older

This harrowing tale of a 12-year-old New Hampshire boy and his beloved dog was drawn from real life survivors’ stories.

(Blue Sky Press, 2014)

–“Anything Is Possible”

Recommended for ages 11 and older

An inspirational movie about a boy orphaned in the wake of a tsunami, “Anything Is Possible” has messages about the power of faith, character, and community to get through tough times.

(Image Entertainment, 2013)

–“Nation”

By Terry Pratchett

Recommended for ages 11 and older

This philosophical survival story about two young tsunami survivors is set on a Pacific Island a few centuries ago.

(Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2008)

–“Perfect Disaster”

Recommended for ages 12 and older

“Perfect Disaster” educates viewers on some of science’s most misunderstood phenomena and shows how these superstorms could affect their lives.

(Discovery Channel, 2006)

–“Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans”

By Dan Brown

Recommended for ages 13 and older

Intense nonfiction graphic novel chronicles the 2004 disaster and offers a close-up look at the devastation.

(HMH Books for Young Readers, 2015)

–“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Recommended for ages 14 and older

This devastatingly moving drama set in Louisiana has whimsy, wisdom, love, imagination, and a completely unique point-of-view.

(Fox Searchlight, 2012)

–“The Impossible”

Recommended for ages 14 and older

Incredibly intense true story about a family’s survival during the 2006 tsunami is impossible to forget.

(Summit Entertainment, 2012)

–“Treme”

Recommended for ages 16 and older

This drama follows a handful of New Orleans musicians and the people connected to them as they rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

(HBO, 2010)

–“When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts”

Recommended for ages 16 and older

Spike Lee’s masterful and harrowing Katrina documentary uses home video footage, news broadcasts, and interviews to piece together a living history of the hurricane and the flood caused by inadequate levees and poor government response.

(HBO: 2006)

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Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.

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