Rating: 1-5: (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Historical fiction, Romance
What did you like about the book? When Hurricane Katrina forces sixteen year old Evangeline to evacuate her idyllic home in Bayou Perdu, she, along with her mother, father, sister and Mamere, join her aunt in Atlanta. The family’s stay is longer than planned as their tiny town is completely submerged. Evangeline and her sister attend an Atlanta high school where they are viewed as refugees. Her mom thrives in a new job, but her father and sister falter away from their usual life. Evangeline finds romance with another displaced person, a Vietnamese boy Tru whose family, like hers, makes their living by fishing. Yet all along, Evangeline knows that she just wants to return to her home. The resolution is not perfect but believable. There are so many praises to sing about this book: it’s totally absorbing, the family interactions ring true, the romance is a joy, Evangeline’s homesickness is palpable, and it is particularly timely in presenting the point of view of people displaced from their homes due to circumstances beyond their control.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? Give this to YA readers in grade 7 and up who are tired of silly plots and inconsequential dramas and who would appreciate sharing a coming of age journey with a character who deals with life-altering issues.
Readalikes: The Sun is Also a Star
Who should buy this book? Middle school libraries, high school libraries and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve in Fiction.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 5/1/17