Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana
Armani Curtis lives in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans with her mom, dad, two brothers, two sisters and her Memaw. Many of her uncles and cousins live close by too. She has a big party planned for her tenth birthday with friends and family, but there is a hurricane quickly coming towards New Orleans. Armani's neighbors are evacuating but Armani convinces her brother not to tell her father so that she can still have her party. Hurricane Katrina hits and her family is forced to stay in their home. The levees break during the storm quickly filling Armani's house with water. The family flees quickly to the attic and then eventually to the roof. When Armani's birthday puppy jumps into the black, churning water, her brother heroically tries to save the puppy. Armani's father jumps into the water to try to save his son. Soon after the remaining family is rescued and make their way to the Super Dome, where they are separated because Armani's baby brother is very sick. Armani is left to take care of her other two sisters and luckily a soldier who knows her uncle gets her into a bus which takes them to a shelter. She does her best trying to take care of herself and her sister, but is scared about what has happened to the rest of her family. Will they ever be together again?
This is a story of a very close-knit and loving family. Armani has a special relationship with her Memaw and her mom and dad are shown as loving parents. The story makes the reader feel like they are there with the family during the hurricane. Many times it brought me close to tears because I knew what was probably going to happen next. The book still left many unanswered questions, but it did end with some hope. Hurricane Katrina was a storm that took away many lives and changed the lives forever of those that lived through it. This book lets you see the hurricane and it's destruction through the eyes of a survivor.