Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Denise Patrick Lewis
Publisher: Square Fish
With her thirteenth birthday approaching, Reesie is expecting new changes and opportunities. She isn’t expecting her home to be destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Her mother, a nurse, and her father, a police officer, disagree on whether or not to leave the city before the storm hits, but neither are able to leave when things get desperate. Separated from her mother and father, Reesie finds refuge with her neighbors, and they do everything they can do to survive the rising flood waters. Reesie has to find her parents through the disarray and chaos. After being reunited with her parents, her mother decides that they should stay in New Jersey with family. Reesie desperately misses her father, who stayed behind, and has to find a way to reunite her parents and find what home means.
Finding Someplace is a story that demonstrates the courage of one young girl in the face of natural disaster and the turbulence within her own family. Reesie is a strong character who is well developed through the story and through her own journey. She is a normal teenage girl who enjoys fashion and is falling for her first boyfriend. She shows extreme strength and resilience through her ability to survive the flooding of Hurricane Katrina while helping her elderly neighbor and then dealing with the consequences of her parents' struggling marriage. Denise Lewis Patrick has crafted a tale that gives agency and endurance to a young female character who is also relatable. This story sheds light on how natural disasters affect and alter the lives of people who live through them, not just during, but for long after. This is not just a story about a young girl, but about a city and the aftermath of tragedy.