I Survived the Galveston Hurricane, 1900, by Lauren Tarshis, Scholastic Inc., Sept. 7, 2021, Paperback, 5.99 (ages 7-10)
I Survived: The Galveston Hurricane, 1900, by Lauren Tarshis, follows a child through America’s deadliest disaster.
It’s 1900, and Charlie feels lucky to live in Galveston, Texas. Sure, there are storms sometimes. But nobody worries about hurricanes. Even a famous weather expert says it’s impossible for a strong hurricane to strike Galveston.
Which is why few people worry on the morning of September 8, when a big storm starts to brew. but Charlie watches with growing horror as monster waves rise up from the sea, as the wind starts to scream.
By night, much of the city is under 20 feet of water. Will Charlie find a way to survive the storm of the century? —Synopsis provided by Scholastic Inc.
My 7-year-old loves the Survivor Diaries series, by Terry Lynn Johnson, so I had a hunch she’d like Lauren Tarshis’ I survived series as well. Turns out I was right. Since I gave it to her 5 days ago, she’s read it, studied it, and carried it back and forth to the car for longer drives. She’s a hub of information, spouting facts left and right, and giggling over the frogs swarming Charlie’s yard.
Review from my 7-year-old: “What I like about it was that they used what they know to solve what happened. It was challenging and also shocking to some people. The best part is that I think it’s good that they worked together as a team. It was kind of scary in some parts though there are some parts that are kind of fun. It’s kind of easy to know what the story will tell you if you look through the historical part. You should read this book.”
The “historical part” mentioned above refers to is the back matter provided by Lauren Tarshis. It not only explains why the author wrote about the Galveston hurricane, but provides facts about hurricanes and life in 1900. The historical photographs really helped my daughter visualize the time and place.
To say I Survived: The Galveston Hurricane, 1900 is a hit at our house is an understatement. My daughter has already asked for more of the series, which I agreed to, provided I read/skim the book first so that I can answer any questions that come up. Because these books are all about real events — Sept. 11, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, etc. — and my daughter is only 7, discussion is a must.
That said, Tarshis’ writing is clear and exciting. She doesn’t overcomplicate things, and illustrations sprinkled throughout add interest. At 115 pages (plus approximately 20 pages of back matter) I Survived: The Galveston Hurricane, 1900 is a great length for readers of all abilities. This engaging read will appeal to readers ages 7-10.