Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When Disaster Strike! (or Weather Permitting)

Tip of the Day: Give me a shout in the comments if you will be at the YALSA Symposium with me in St. Louis this weekend!

With all of the talk about -- and destruction caused by -- Hurricane Sandy this week, I was thinking about disaster novels, realistic stories based on natural events.

Adding "bad weather" into your novel is a great way to create tension and a non-human foe. It also adds atmosphere and helps to place your story on the map.

If you've had enough of these horrors in real life, I understand. But if you want to read some kidlit with this setting, I recommend the following:

ASHFALL and ASHEN WINTER by Mike Mullin. When the supervalcano errupts, Alex must survive the fallout on his own. Totally gripping and it made me cold just reading about the ashy snow.

TRAPPED by Michael Northrop. During a snow storm, seven teens are stuck in their high school awaiting rescue while the temperature drops and the snow piles up. Creepy and disturbing and a little too close to home for those who live in lake affect snow zones.

HURRICANE by Terry Trueman. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch strikes Honduras and 13-year-old Jose must take care of his house when his father goes missing. This tragic and realistic story reads quickly and shows the vulnerability of island life.

THE WAITING SKY by Lara Zielin. Jane finally leaves her alcoholic mother back home -- but just for the summer because her mom needs her -- and joins her older brother and his team of tornado chasers through tornado alley. While the focus is on the characters rather than the weather, the tornado's power and unpredictability is well drawn.

What are your favorite weather/natural disaster novels?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

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