Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith

Published by Schwartz & Wade

Summary: Henry and his best friend Wayne were together on Mount Mansfield in Vermont when Wayne died in an accident. The two boys had a lucky marble that they passed back and forth. When Henry’s mother accidentally gives away his jeans that have the marble in them, Henry knows he needs to get it back. The clothes were destined for New Orleans to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. They end up with Zavion, a boy with demons of his own after barely making it out of his flooded house. The two boys’ paths cross in New Orleans. Eventually, they end up on the top of Mount Mansfield, where they are able to begin the process of healing together.

Pros: This is an emotionally powerful story, with chapters alternating between the two boys until they finally meet up. The story of what happened to Wayne is slowly revealed, but not told fully until the very end. Short chapters keep the story moving quickly.

Cons: Much of the action of the story is internal. For elementary readers, this might be a better choice for teacher-guided reading than independent.

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