Recent natural disasters, and those most impacted by them, have been at the front of our minds. Knowing that many families have been discussing these tragedies together, we offer the following list of books.

Picture Books

Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond

(Children Children Picture Book + BOND)

“Inspired by the author’s grandfather’s experiences living in a lodge in the woods, a story of how people and animals survive a forest fire in a small Canadian town.” — Provided by publisher.

Tsunami by Kimiko Kajikawa; illustrated by Ed Young

(Children Picture Book + KAJIK)

A wealthy man in a Japanese village, who everyone calls Ojiisan, which means grandfather, sets fire to his rice fields to warn the innocent people of an approaching tsunami.

Mama by Jeanette Winter

(Children Picture Book WINTE)

A true story in which a baby hippo loses his mama during the tsunami, but finds a new home and a new mama.

Chapter Books

A City Tossed and Broken by Judy Blundell

(Children PZ7.B627146 Cit 2013)

It is 1906, and when her family is cheated out of their tavern, fourteen-year-old Minnie Bonner is forced to become a maid to the Sump family, who are moving to San Francisco—three weeks before the great earthquake.

Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury

(Children PZ7.S15225 Ni 2007)

In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Young Adult

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

(Children PZ7.B4627 Exo 2008)

In the year 2100, as the island of Wing is about to be covered by water, fifteen-year-old Mara discovers the existence of New World sky cities that are safe from the storms and rising waters, and convinces her people to travel to one of these cities in order to save themselves.

Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

(Children PZ7.B61945 Lo 2013)

After a devastating earthquake destroys the West Coast, causing seventeen-year-old Penelope to lose her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother, she navigates a dark world, holding hope and love in her hands and refusing to be defeated.

In Darkness by Nick Lake

(Children PZ7.L185 In 2012)

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L’Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804.

Nation by Terry Pratchett

(Children PZ7.P8865 Nat 2008)

After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Beneath a Meth Moon: An Elegy by Jacqueline Woodson

(Children PZ7.W868 Ben 2012)

“A young girl uses crystal meth to escape the pain of losing her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina, and then struggles to get over her addiction.” —Provided by publisher.

Informational Books

Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival by Janet Wyman Coleman

(Children QL737.C432 C563 2013)

Recounts the true story of eight bottlenose dolphins and their trainers who survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr.Paula Kahumbu; photographs by Peter Greste

(Children QL737.U57 H38 2006)

“A one-year-old hippo calf christened Owen was found alone and dehydrated by wildlife rangers near the Indian Ocean at Malindi, Kenya, in the days after the Asian Tsunami. He was placed in an enclosure at a wildlife sanctuary in Mombasa where he befriended a male tortoise. The tortoise is named Mzee, which is Swahili for ‘old man’. Mzee ‘adopted’ Owen and they are still rarely seen apart. Their unusual bonding has surprised and delighted zoologists in Kenya and become worldwide news.” —Provided by publisher.

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch

(Children QC981.8.C5 C475 2008)

“When the weather changes daily, how do we really know that Earth’s climate is changing? Here is the science behind the headlines – evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers and much more, gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young citizen-scientists. And here is what young people, and their families and teachers, can do to learn about climate change and take action. Climate change is a critical and timely topic of deep concern, here told in an age-appropriate manner, with clarity and hope.” —Provided by publisher.

An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming by Al Gore

(Children QC981.8.G56 G675 2007)

Young readers’ version of the documentary film’s companion adult volume.

Storms by Seymour Simon

(Children + QC941.3 .S55 1989)

Describes the atmospheric conditions which create thunderstorms, hailstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes and how violent weather affects the environment and people.

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown

(Children + HV636 2005.N4 B75 2015)

“On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality. Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.” —Provided by publisher.