Join Tamara Ellis Smith (top right; author of the Middle Grade novel Another Kind of Hurricane) and UVM Sociology Professor Alice Fothergill (bottom right; author of Children of Katrina) for a reading and discussion of their books, as well as an opportunity to donate books to school libraries devastated by recent flooding in Baton Rouge. Tamara will have just returned from the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, and will also discuss her experiences there.
ABOUT THE BOOK DRIVE: As another local author, Kate Messner, has posted on her blog, "If you’re like me, you’ve been watching the news out of Louisiana and wanting to do more to help. When whole communities are flooded, families who have lost everything are uprooted, and that can be especially tough on kids. As a result of flood-damaged schools, many students have also been displaced from their classrooms for now, and teachers & librarians have lost books and supplies. Let’s make sure those kids have beautiful books in their school and classroom libraries when they return. The losses are devastating, and the need is enormous." Books donated at the event at Phoenix will benefit schools including Glen Oaks Park Elementary, Saint Amant Primary School, Southside Junior High, and others.
ABOUT THE BOOKS:
Another Kind of Hurricane: In this stunning debut middle grade novel, two very different characters—a black boy who loses his home in Hurricane Katrina and a white boy in Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident—come together to find healing.
A hurricane, a tragic death, two boys, one marble. How they intertwine is at the heart of this beautiful, poignant book. When ten-year-old Zavion loses his home in Hurricane Katrina, he and his father are forced to flee to Baton Rouge. And when Henry, a ten-year-old boy in northern Vermont, tragically loses his best friend, Wayne, he flees to ravaged New Orleans to help with hurricane relief efforts—and to search for a marble that was in the pocket of a pair of jeans donated to the Red Cross.
Rich with imagery and crackling with hope, this is the unforgettable story of how lives connect in unexpected, even magical, ways.
Children of Katrina: When children experience upheaval and trauma, adults often view them as either vulnerable and helpless or as resilient and able to easily bounce back. But the reality is far more complex for the children and youth whose lives are suddenly upended by disaster. How are children actually affected by catastrophic events and how do they cope with the damage and disruption? Children of Katrina offers one of the only long-term, multiyear studies of young people following disaster. Sociologists Alice Fothergill and Lori Peek spent seven years after Hurricane Katrina interviewing and observing several hundred children and their family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, and other caregivers. In this book, they focus intimately on seven children between the ages of three and eighteen, selected because they exemplify the varied experiences of the larger group. They find that children followed three different post-disaster trajectories declining, finding equilibrium, and fluctuating as they tried to regain stability. The children's moving stories illuminate how a devastating disaster affects individual health and well-being, family situations, housing and neighborhood contexts, schooling, peer relationships, and extracurricular activities. This work also demonstrates how outcomes were often worse for children who were vulnerable and living in crisis before the storm. Fothergill and Peek clarify what kinds of assistance children need during emergency response and recovery periods, as well as the individual, familial, social, and structural factors that aid or hinder children in getting that support.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Tamara Ellis Smith’s debut middle grade novel, Another Kind of Hurricane (Schwartz & Wade/Random House) was a Summer 2015 Kids Indies Next List pick, a 2015 Indies Introduces Top Ten Pick, one of Bank Street's Best Books of the Year, an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist, and a Vermont Book Award finalist. As a teaching artist and public speaker, she is passionate about inspiring kids to find their own voices and stories. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Vermont with her four kids and husband. Visit her on the Web at www.tamaraellissmith.com
Alice Fothergill is also the author of Heads Above Water: Gender, Class, and Family in the Grand Forks Flood. She teaches sociology at the University of Vermont, where she specializes in the areas of family, gender, inequality, disaster, and qualitative methodology. Children of Katrina was awarded the American Sociological Association Children and Youth Section’s Outstanding Scholarship Award in 2016.
DATE: Thursday, November 3rd, at 7pm
LOCATION: Phoenix Books Burlington
ADMISSION: Free and open to all.
Photo credit for picture of Tamara Ellis Smith: Beth Kephart