Insta Review: Drowned City, by Don Brown

Insta Review gives you a new book recommendation in under a minute. Go ahead, time it!

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One of the most powerful graphic novels I have ever seen. Don Brown takes an already complicated, terrifying, and gruesome story and amps up the volume in Drowned City, a graphic novel detailing the events of Hurricane Katrina and its impact on New Orleans. The stark illustrations and straightforward text describe the monster storm in a way that makes it easy for readers to understand, and while reading, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the events. Due to the nature of the material, the book is intense – and Brown doesn’t shy away from the terror. Illustrations show people struggling to survive in raging waters and drowned victims floating, not to mention the aftermath of survivors living miserably in filth while waiting for assistance. The text also refuses to sugarcoat the events – Brown calls out the local and national government and assistance organizations for their actions. Parts of the book can be hard to take, but Drowned City is a great example of the power of graphic novels to tell difficult (and in this case, historically significant) stories in a unique and powerful format. We have referenced it multiple times in our graphic novel unit this year. This graphic novel is a home run, and a must-have for GN collections for middle grades and older. #stabsummerreading

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