Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Drowned City by Don Brown


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 riveting 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. A portion of the proceeds from this book has been donated to Habitat for Humanity New Orleans.


One of the things that amazes me about Don Brown's work is the way he manages to include so much information in relatively few words.  The text in this graphic book is relatively sparse, a few sentences per page, yet combined with the illustrations they create a powerful picture of an important event in US history.  I remember when it happened, I realized that many things had been badly mishandled, but I didn't realize to what extent.  This is an important story that I'm glad Brown has chosen to tell.  If we don't remember these things then such mistakes are bound to be repeated.  This is a heart-wrenching story that Brown still manages to instill with hope.  Despite all the mistakes that were made and the bad things that people did there were plenty of examples of sacrifice and people trying to help.  This is an important book and one that I highly recommend that most libraries add to their collections.

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