Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Night of the Hurricane's Fury

The Night of the Hurricane's Fury

Candice F. Ransom
Illustrator:  Paul Tong 
Historical Fiction
For ages 5 to 8
Lerner, 2011   ISBN: 978-0761339403

On a wet Saturday afternoon on September 8, 1900, Robert Pettibone dashes out of his Aunt Maudie’s house and into the rain. Some weeks ago Robert’s parents sent him to stay with his aunt with the hope that the sea air would strengthen him and improve his health. Ignoring his aunt’s call, Robert goes down to the beach to look at the waves. Many people are there watching as huge walls of water hammer the coastline. Before his eyes bathhouses are “smashed into sticks.”

Back at Aunt Maudie’s house, Robert finds out that his aunt has packed up some things and that she has decided that they will take refuge in the house next door. Robert and his aunt have to wade down the street to Mr. Russell’s house. Many people are taking shelter there, convinced that this house will be safe. Robert is not there long before water starts to seep in and everyone has to move to the second floor. Then Robert sees that a huge wall of water is bearing down on the house, and suddenly his life is turned upside down.

This fictionalized account of the infamous 1900 Galveston hurricane will help young readers to see what it would have been like to witness the event first hand. The story is exciting and also sad. Children will immediately be able to identify with Robert, and they will admire him for his courage and his determination to survive.

This is one in a series of books that are about important moments in American history. The author provides her readers with more information about the hurricane at the beginning and at the end of the story.