Twelve-year-old Zane Dupree had no interest in leaving his comfortable New Hampshire home to spend the summer with an ancient aunt in New Orleans.
But family mattered to his mom, and when she discovered that Zane had a real-live relative in New Orleans, she insisted that he go to meet his dead father's Aunt Trissy. It was that fateful decision that landed Zane in New Orleans in late 2005. To soften the blow, his mother allowed him to take along Bandy, his better-than-Lassie dog, whom Zane acknowledged to be a "mutt" like him, referring to his own multi-racial heritage.
In New Orleans, he didn't have much time to get to know Aunt Trissy before an evacuation notice warned them of an approaching catastrophic storm, Hurricane Katrina. Obeying the order to leave, they got aboard a church van and headed toward safety in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Suddenly Bandy jumped out the window and began to run down the crowded highway. Zane foolishly jumped out of the van to chase Bandy. In doing so, he lost all hope of escaping the wrath of Katrina.
Zane and Brandy were plunged into the depth of the hurricane trying to survive rising filthy water, being trapped in an attic, and avoiding masses of writhing floating snakes. Could they find a degree of safety in a small canoe with a young girl and an old musician? Would the gigantic ships being washed inland squash them? How could they survive the criminals who would take them prisoner and the over-aggressive security teams protecting the rich?
Zane and The Hurricane chronicles the facts of Hurricane Katrina through the eyes of the fictional Zane. The steamy, frightening setting and the dangers that Zane and Bandy face create page-turning memories of one of the worst disasters in modern American history.
The Kids Wings Literature Guide for Zane and the Hurricane comes in both PDF and PowerPoint formats. Activities by master teacher Suzy Red include:
Pre-Reading Discussion Cards
Predicting a Scene: Exploring the Cover of the Book as a Word Artist
Verbal to Visual
Preparing Your Intellectual Tools
Dictionary of New Orleans Dialect
A two-page Readers' Theater Introduction
The Sentence Game, Parts 1-6:
The Psycholinguistic Sentence Game Using Complex and Compound Sentences
Map Activity, Where in the World Is Louisiana?
Vocabulary by Chapters
Predict-Read-Confirm Chapter Questions with Sentence Summaries
Research Projects: Louisiana Hurricanes, Songs of Faith about Storms, Sepsis
Multiple Choice and Short-Answer Chapter Questions
Visualizing the Story, Drawing on Comprehension
2 Crossword Puzzles
Judging Malvina's Jokes
DISASTER! A Jumbled Word Puzzle
Zane's Reward, A Fallen Tile Puzzle
Summarizing, Multiple Choice: Chapters 18-20
Learning Through Trials, Format for A Five-Paragraph Composition
Discussion and Writing Prompts
Plus, a BONUS Interactive Jeopardy-type Game in PowerPoint format
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