In August of 2005, one of the deadliest hurricanes hit New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast. I remember being in college, watching it on the news. I remember my college taking in other college students who were displaced by the storm. I remember Kanye West’s unforgettable quote. Hurricane Katrina killed almost 2,000 people; over 700 people were never found.
In just three years, we will be able to say, none of our students were alive when it happened. That makes me feel a little old, but it makes it even more important to me to make sure I share what happened to my students every year.
This list contains books to read to any school-aged child. Use these books to build connections, but don’t stop there. Have your child or students research more information. For the younger students, share age-appropriate information. We cannot forget what happened before and after Katrina hit.
I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other books to read at home or at school! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!
Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️
Also, for complete transparency, there are some books on this list that I have not read. When I make book lists I always read the books before posting. Since there are several chapter books/novels on this list I have not had time to read them all just yet, but I will! This is the only book list on my website with books I haven’t read.
A Storm Called Katrina is a picture book that follows Louis Daniel and his family as they abandoned their home in search for higher ground. This may be a longer book for a kindergartner or first grader, but it could be broken up and read over a few days.
In this picture book we learn about the sanitation worker who begins cleaning up after Katrina just like it was an ordinary day. His spirit encourages neighbors and volunteers to help with cleaning up the city. Being that I’m not for New Orleans, I really appreciated the pronunciation guide in the back of the book.
Hurricane Katrina Rescue is a beginner chapter book that I think is meant for second and third graders (just a suggestion). Ranger is a time traveling dog who helps Clare find her family. I have not read any of the other books in this series, but I thought that this was a good book to help students relate to the those impacted by the store. I also liked that they included real pictures from the storm so that the reader can see the damage.
The Ninth Ward is a novel geared toward middle schoolers. There’s actually an excerpt of this book in our 6th grade textbooks.
In this novel, we meet 12 year-old Lanesha who lives with Mama Ya-Ya. The Ninth Ward gives the reader a more realistic version of what happened once the hurricane hit.
Zane and the Hurricane is one of the books on this list I haven’t read, but it was recommended by my former teammate! She reads tons of books and picks great ones to read to her students, so I completely trust her recommendation.
In this book, we follow Zane and his dog, Bandit as they try to survive Hurricane Katrina. This novel is perfect for upper elementary and middle school students.
A Place Where Hurricanes Happen follows four friends in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. Once Katrina hits, each family has their own experience with the arrival of the storm. This is a great book to show how everyone who was affected by Hurricane Katrina had a different experience.
Here’s another novel I haven’t read…yet. I’ve started the book (read two chapters) and I think it’s going to be really good. According to the reviews, it’s a good book!
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is not a place but a boy who lives in Treme. Saint tells the story of his life before, during, and after Katrina with his best friend, the neighborhood dog Shadow. Upper elementary and middle school students would enjoy this book. I’ll update the post once I’m done reading!
There are a couple more books I want to at least have in my possession before I put them on the list! I will update the list once I get a chance to read them. Follow me on Instagram to look for updates!
Check out The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books if you are looking to add more diverse picture books to classroom or home library!