Armani Curtis can think about only one thing: her tenth birthday. She's having a party, her mama is making a big cake, and she has a good feeling about a certain wrapped box. Turning ten years old is a big deal to Armani. It means she's older, wiser, more responsible. But when Hurricane Katrina hits the Lower Nines of New Orleans and tears her world apart, Armani realizes that being ten means being brave, watching loved ones die, and mustering all her strength to help her family weather the storm. A gripping story of courage and survival, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere celebrates the power of hope and love in the face of the unthinkable.
Julie T. Lamana lives in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana, and worked in an after-school program for children displaced by Hurricane Katrina, gaining a unique insight into their experiences surviving the storm. This book is a reflection of those experiences.
I had to put the book down many times. There were times it was too tough to read. I just wanted to cry. That's because I remember when Hurricane Katrina came and the complete devastation she left behind. While this may be fiction based on real events, I couldn't help but feel this could have happened, or even did to someone. That haunting notion had me tied into the story in such an emotional way, it made it so much more real. So I'd put it down for a bit, and always make my way back later. It was too good of a story to miss out on too, even with the tough and emotional subject matter. This story is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. Which brings me to my next point. This story is supposed to be read by middle graders. I have to say, with the graphic content in the story, I would not want my grade 4-grade 7 child reading it. I do encourage teens and adults to dig in though. It is amazing.
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