June 1st marked the beginning of hurricane season, which extends through December 1st. If you live in the interior of the United States, it may not mean much to you, but to us, who call Florida home, the beginning of hurricane seasons marks a season of being vigilant, preparing and possibly having your beach vacations sidetracked by a hurricane. We spend half the year worrying if a storm will approach and what we need to do to stay safe. To get you up to date, the fourth named storm of the year, (Ms.) Dora, is currently moving away from the Mexican coastmoving away from the Mexican coast. This got me thinking that there are a couple of 2017 releases with hurricane themes that we should all pack in our bookish Hurricane Preparedness packs. At the end of this post, I give you additional resources to bookmark in case a Hurricane Watch pops up in the near future.
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.
Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.
The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.
Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan
Hurricane Katrina sets a teenage girl adrift. But a new life — and the promise of love — emerges in this rich, highly readable debut.
Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. But, dearest to her heart, she has the peace that only comes when she takes her skiff out to where there is nothing but sky and air and water and wings. It’s a small life, but it is Evangeline’s. And then the storm comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru — a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline’s aching heart. Told in a strong, steady voice, with a keen sense of place and a vivid cast of characters, here is a novel that asks compelling questions about class and politics, exile and belonging, and the pain of being cast out of your home. But above all, this remarkable debut tells a gently woven love story, difficult to put down, impossible to forget.
Honorable Mentions from our Florida Books List: Hurricanes also make appearances in both the Mara Dyer and Abandon series.
More Book Lists
Below are a couple of Hurricane/Extreme weather lists that have titles for the whole family:
A great to start with hurricane preparedness is Ready.Gov. They give you a great breakdown of what you can do from basic preparedness for yourself and your home, plus a timeline of how to prepare as a storm grows closer.
NOAA, your best friend when it comes to spaghetti models and storm tracking, also has excellent resources for preparedness. including helpful links to FEMA and government agencies. NOAA also provides the best tracking resources. I geek out to them, even when a storm isn’t approaching our area because I find the notion of predicting weather so interesting. My favorite NOAA resource is the Cyclone Tracking model and the linked diagrams and models below it. When you’re in a storm, tracking wind speeds and projected rain could make the difference between staying home and evacuating.
WeatherUnderground (Wunderground to those in the know) is a fairly accurate hurrican tracking service.
The Weather Channel has excellent resources that are updated quickly once a storm is announced.
Wishing you all a safe and tranquil hurricane season!