‘Hurricane Boy’ finds answers after Katrina

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“Hurricane Boy” by Laura Roach Dragon. Pelican Publishing, 2014. $8.95.

When we first meet Hollis Williams in the days before Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, he is living with his grandmother and siblings in the lower Ninth Ward.

His mother is dead and his father long since abandoned them. While getting ready for the impending storm, Hollis is exploring the possibility of reconnecting with his father. This is his greatest wish. He just isn’t sure if it’s the right one.

Like many people who had lived through hurricanes in the past, his grandmother believed it would be like all the others. People would evacuate only to return in a couple of days. She was wrong. The story deals with the aftermath of the storm and Hollis’ wish.

During the chaos of post-Katrina rooftop rescues, Hollis and his family are separated and end up in different shelters. During this time in the shelter, Hollis encounters many people, and while talking to them and hearing their stories they strongly influence his outlook on his life and in the process, help him to find the answer he was searching for.

— Anna Guerra, Denham Springs

“The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains: A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of All Kinds”

by Neil Gaiman and Eddie Campbell. William Morrow, 2014. $21.99.

In 2010, author Neil Gaiman was asked to do a public reading at the Sydney Opera House. He chose his previously unpublished short story, “The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains.”

Artist Eddie Campbell was brought into the project to create artwork based on the story. Musical accompaniment was provided by FourPlay String Quartet, who composed music especially for the story.

The live performance of music, art and story played to a sold-out crowd and is now on a short world tour. This illustrated novelette presents the story and artwork of the live performance.

The story is set in Jacobite Scotland. The main character is in search of a man, Calum McInnes, to guide him to the Misty Isle, rumored to have a cave filled with cursed gold. Together they set off on the journey but there is more to this story than a search for gold. This grown-up picture book tells a story of greed, murder, and revenge.

— Elizabeth Dequeant, Baton Rouge