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Saint Louis Armstrong Beach

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  659 ratings  ·  112 reviews
A boy, a dog, and New Orleans' most famous hurricane
Saint is a boy with confidence as big as his name is long. A budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists, and his best friend is a stray dog named Shadow. At first Saint is sure that Hurricane Katrina will be just like the last one--no big deal. But then the city is ordered to evacuate
ebook, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Puffin Books
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  659 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Mr. Gottshalk
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the school book fair and glad that I did. It is historical fiction, but recent history - the story of an ambitious twelve-year old who experiences the before, during, and after of Hurricane Katrina. No more it!
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book. Great summer read! I would recommend for ages 9-13. I read it outloud to my 6 year old and he enjoyed the story and was able to follow along. It is a quick read, 2-3 days for my older children. A child's perspective of Hurricane Katrina and how the hurricane forever changed New Orleans and the people who live and play music in that interesting and unique city.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
liked this so much more than Ninth Ward another Katrina book.
Challice Neipp
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute middle-grade read about a young clarinetist name Saint, and his dog Shadow. Saint Louis Armstrong has one goal-- to make $2000 to buy his next clarinet and attend Julliard Music College. Then hurricane Katrina hits. This sweet but shorter novel is funny, whimsical, and a brilliantly written novel to tell about New Orleans culture and all that happened in the wake of Katrina.

There is a word in here used when describing a donkey-dog... if you get my drift. The uncle uses it, then Saint
Joo  Young
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: assignments
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is enjoying his young musical career by playing tunes to tourists; however, when Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, he is met with an unforeseen challenge of rescuing his dog, Shadow. Personally, I was excited to read this book because I was interested in Hurricane Katrina, one of the most destructive and deadly tropical cyclone in American history. Although the book was straightforward to read, it did an exceptional job of illustrating the fears and devastating ...more
Jennifer Bacall
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This book had all of the potential and none of the delivery necessary to make a heavy impact on the reader of the real terror and fear that kids experienced during Hurricane Katrina. It does a decent job at painting the mood and setting of New Orleans but doesn't show real emotional connections between the characters.

It has some clever touches, including the main character's dream name, Valentine Xavier Beach and his musician friend Smokey DeLeon. It was also endearing when Saint would
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Cathy by: Battle of the Books 2019
A boy, a dog, and New Orleans' most famous hurricane
Saint is a boy with confidence as big as his name is long. A budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists, and his best friend is a stray dog named Shadow. At first Saint is sure that Hurricane Katrina will be just like the last one--no big deal. But then the city is ordered to evacuate and Saint refuses to leave without Shadow. Saint and Shadow flee to his neighbor's attic--and soon enough it's up to Saint to
Madison Agli
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i really like this because its about hurricane katrina and how it affected the city of new orleans. when I was reading it was like it was happening in really life because it was so realistic. In the beginning it didn't get straight to the hurricane it had some suspence
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was ok something that was interesting but needed more detail.
Chrissy Erwin
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Jamieson
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ks2
Fantastic book which I couldn’t put down. Using this in year 6 next week.
Donna Siebold
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is a young boy living in New Orleans. Until very recently he was best friends with his neighbor Money (Mona Lisa). Now she thinks she has outgrown him. He loves music and plays clarinet for the tourists. He wants to earn enough money to purchase a LeBlanc L1020 to replace his current instrument. He is good friends with an elderly gentleman named Smokey who is also a musician.

When news of Hurrican Katrina comes to New Orleans Saint Louis and his family are not
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Saint loves playing the clarinet. He plays it for tourists in New Orleans to earn money for a new clarinet and for his future at Julliard. Life isn’t all easy though, he has taken to a stray dog that his father will not allow him to adopt and his best friend has outgrown him, now spending her time partying with the cooler, older kids. As Hurricane Katrina approaches, Saint and his family are not that concerned since it is expected to miss New Orleans, as the days progress, the tension builds and ...more
Wonderful childrens' book that gives kids an idea of what Hurricane Katrina felt like from the perspective of a 12 year old Black boy in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans, a historically and musically significant neighborhood that, according to Wikipedia, sustained mild-moderate damage from the ravages of Katrina. This middle school level adventure-in-the-midst-of-disaster is kept light without feeling too light for the subject matter. It's a suspenseful page turner and a quick read.

Beth Bacon
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Wood is the story of a New Orleans boy with a talent for creating beautiful tunes with his clarinet. Tunes so lovely tourists strolling along the Mississippi river can’t help but drop dollars –lots of them—at his feet.
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is also the story of a neighborhood. Saint lives in the eclectic Treme section of New Orleans, a place with little wood-clad houses that all have porches and peeling paint and a heritage of jazz and togetherness that
Kady Mac
Nov 14, 2011 rated it liked it
The Deal: Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is a little boy with a big name to live up to. Like his Grandaddy Saint and his other namesake, Louis Armstrong, he has the music in him. Nothing makes him happier than busking for tourists, dreaming of one day affording his dream clarinet, and playing with "his" dog, a neighborhood stray named Shadow. His former best friend MonaLisa is growing up too fast and refuses to talk to him anymore, which would hurt even if he didn't have a crush on her. When ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
St. Louis Armstrong Beach wishes his name was a little less complicated, but he was named after his great-grandfather and his great-grandfather’s favorite musician. Saint is hoping to save up enough money to buy a special clarinet. Luckily, he's able to play his clarinet for the tourists and make money to save towards his goal. He gets closer every day. Things are confusing now that his best friend, Money, doesn't want to talk to him, and he had his palm read, which revealed that he has a short ...more
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach (yep that is his name) is a musically talented young man in New Orleans. He lives with his chef father and social worker mother in Treme. Saint plays his clarinet for tourists in the French Quarter and is saving up to buy a new clarinet. He has adopted a stray dog named Shadow. He and his family closely watch the progress of Tropical Storm Katrina has it heads towards New Orleans and turns into a hurricane. As they get ready to evacuate things start falling apart. His ...more
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla
Those of us who survived Hurricane Katrina often talk about how hard it is for writers to get the story right. Then again, there are so many hurricane stories and so many different experiences of that August 29 event, depending on where you were, that it's almost impossible to get it right. While this one nails the rising anxiety in the city of New Orleans as a tropical storm that becomes Hurricane Katrina heads toward the city, I wish the author had spent as much time describing the during and ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, children-s, bes13-14
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach, named after his grandfather and the jazz legend, enjoys his life in pre-Katrina New Orleans. He plays his clarinet for tourists to earn money, cares for a regular stray dog named Shadow, and has a crush on his feisty pre-teen neighbor. When hurricane Katrina approaches New Orleans, Saint's mom can't quite pull herself away from her job as a social worker at the hospital and Saint can't quite pull himself away from saving Shadow. He manages to escape from his ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up. This book was on a list of Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award nominees. I read it at the same time as my 12 year old niece. The protagonist (for whom the book is named) is a fabulous character. He is an 11 year old with a strong love of his parents, his community, music, and New Orleans. The dialogue is wonderful and I enjoyed all of the characters except MonaLisa - his neighbor/crush - but even there the description of his feelings for her were dead on. The book takes place ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: with-sara
1.5 stars
I read this book after I heard my 3rd grader reading this for her Battle of the Books competition and was disturbed by some things I was hearing.

I had her stop reading when, within the first several pages, she was telling me about 11yr olds drinking alcohol. Wha?? Really? Is this what I need my 3rd grade girl reading? No, it's not. And the sad thing is, there's no point to that part of the book. It is completely gratuitous which really bothered me even more.

So that part aside, the story
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is not a perfect book, but it is a very enjoyable one. Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is almost twelve years old, loves to play the clarinet, and loves a shared-among-the-neighborhood (Treme) stray dog called Shadow. His father is a chef in New Orleans, his mother is a social worker at the hospital, and his former best friend MonaLisa (Money) lives next door. This quick read (for middle grade and younger elementary readers) describes his life in New Orleans before and during Hurricane Katrina. ...more
Jackie Richter
I would like to start out by saying that Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is a genuinely wonderful read that I would highly recommend to readers of all ages, but the targeted audience is for children around 10 years old. This book could be integrated as a great resource when teaching in a variety of content areas including language arts, social studies, science, and music. This story digs into themes of friendship, loyalty, survival, and the power of music while capturing the readers' attention with ...more
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach plays his clarinet in the streets of New Orleans, earning cash for his dream clarinet and to fulfill his dream of studying at Julliard. Things are going well for Saint. His best friend is speaking to him. The palm reading that shows a short life line is thought to be false. His father allows the neighborhood dog Shadow to stay in the house. This is all before Katrina. As Saint and his family is preparing to evacuate, Shadow runs off and Saint goes after him ...more
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach lives in New Orleans with his parents. Saint's a natural clarinetist and he earns money playing on the Quarter for tourists. This was before Hurricane Katrina. The novel opens with Saint talking about his before and how the after keeps getting better. Saint begins his story with his best day pre Katrina, which was one week and two days before it hit.

The novels strengths lies in Saint's voice. Woods does an excellent job with it, along with Saint's relationship with
This book about a boy named Saint Louis Armstrong Beach (Saint after his grandfather, Louis Armstrong after a friend of his grandfather) is mostly split into two time periods: before Katrina and during. There's a brief bit set after the storm, but that's more of an epilogue.

Before Katrina, Saint was trying to earn $2000 to buy a good clarinet by busking near Jackson Square. During, he tries to save his dog Shadow and ends up in an attic, from which he's rescued and sent to the Superdome (he then
Linda Lipko
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
A story of a boy, a dog, a loving family, a wonderful community, and the fact that a major hurricane is about to hit New Orleans.

When it hits, young Saint Louis Armstrong Beach, is more concerned for the roving dog, whom he claims as his own, than he is about his own survival.

While his mother and father prepare to help others, Saint Louis leaves the car of his Aunt and Uncle that is heading out of New Orleans. Searching frantically for his beloved dog, he finally finds him. Seeking shelter at an
Donna Gephart
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It did everything a good book should. There is a warm, creative main character we care deeply about. He struggles against great odds, and we are with him every step of the way. While this volume is slim, it is packed with so much to sink our teeth into. Hurricane Katrina is coming, and we get to view it from our knowledge of what happened and from the characters' lack of that insight. It's done beautifully. One of my favorite things about this book is ...more
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Brenda Woods was born in Ohio, grew up in Southern California, and attended California State University, Northridge. Her award-winning books for young readers include The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond (a CCBC choice and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book); the Coretta Scott King Honor winner The Red Rose Box; the ALAN Pick Saint Louis Armstrong Beach; and VOYA Top Shelf Fiction selection Emako ...more