The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens is a juvenile fiction book for 4-7 graders.
Hannah Steele lives on a small island near Seattle and she loves her little utopia. Her home has always made her feel safe and secure. So when she’s asked to babysit for her neighbors two kids for a few hours, she jumps at the chance. Besides, she’s just finished her babysitting course and the kids aren’t that young. She isn’t even worried that she left her inhaler at home.
But then the unthinkable happens. An earthquake hits that shakes everything. Power is out, the house is a mess, cell services is down and Hannah and the kids are completely cut off from any adult... from any adults at all.
As things go from bad to worse, will Hannah be able to keep her wits about her?
Oh man, this book was fast paced and also terrifying in it’s realistic portrayal. The fact that these natural disasters do happen and that a 13-year-old is a long and in charge, would be terrifying for any adult. But for the kids, they get to learn about earthquakes and what happens when an earthquake hits, and also think about what they would do if they were in Hannah’s shoes.
One of the things I liked most about this book is that the author didn’t gloss over the horrible aspects just because this book is for juveniles. She addresses them and writes them into the story in such a way that they are real but not overly terrifying. The suspense is there, the horribleness of the situation is there and yet, I think most 4-7 graders, even the sensitive ones, will be OK.
There is also so much to talk about! You can discuss anything from earthquake science to asthma and first aid, how to use an encylopedia, what to do in an emergency and more. I, personally, am going to give this book a high 4.5 stars. I think it would be great for a book club or for a lesson plan.
That’s all for now!