Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hurricane Boy” as Want to Read:
Hurricane Boy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hurricane Boy

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  37 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews


This incisive coming-of-age story is set against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina and its severe devastation to US soil. A compelling tale of growth and independence, this debut novel brings a fresh, evocative voice to the stage: Hollis Williams, whose resilience, strength of character, and personal grow
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 15th 2014 by Pelican Publishing Company (first published February 21st 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hurricane Boy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hurricane Boy

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Allyn Stotz
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Although I am a very slow reader, I read this book from start to finish in about 4 hours. I didn't even want to stop for a bathroom break!

I lived in Baton Rouge, LA during Hurricane Katrina and heard all kinds of stories about what families went through. Even though these are fictional characters, I believe the author captured more truths about what families went through than she realizes. This story was so believable and captivating, with very compelling characters that I had to ask the author
E. Sabin
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This poignant tale reveals through the eyes of a young boy the very real terrors and dangers faced by families in New Orleans' South Ward during and after Hurricane Katrina. The boy, Hollis, is fictional, but the events described were very real. I have read several factual accounts of the havoc wreaked by Katrina, but none brought the situation to life to the extent that this YA novel did. This book may be aimed at young people, but adults will benefit as well from its portrayal of children sepa ...more
K.M. McFarland
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Even though this book is targeted to a younger audience, being from New Orleans and having been through Katrina convinced me to give it a go.

When we first meet Hollis on the eve of Hurricane Katrina, he is a happy little boy living with his grandmother and siblings in the lower Ninth Ward. His mother is dead and his father abandoned them. While getting ready for the storm, Hollis is exploring the possibility of reconnecting with his father.

Like many people who had been through hurricanes in th
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Over 5,000 children were separated from Gulf Coast families in the Katrina-created confusion of rescue on such a mass scale. Their story has never been told. Until now.

Hollis lives in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans with his brothers and sister and grandmother Gee. In the opening pages of Hurricane Boy, Hollis experiences brutal force of Hurricane Katrina. He and his family flee the rising floodwaters to the rooftop where they are stranded for days.

When rescue comes, the family is separated as Ge
Rebecca Gernon
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This novel is unique in that the book focuses on the experiences of children during hurricane Katrina. What the children experienced is generally forgotten as people focused on the flooding, loss of life, political issues, etc. The author is a social worker, so her insight into the feelings of children is genuine. The characters are believable and unique. The book is an honest portrayal of one family from the lower 9th ward that suffered a terrible loss and gained new insight as a result.
I high
Cari Galeziewski
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I lived in Indiana during Hurricane Katrina so my only reference point was the news. I now live in Louisiana and have heard many Katrina stories, however, Hurricane Boy moved me in a way that really brings to light the horrors that people experienced, especially children. This book is compelling, beautifully written, and full of vivid characters. I laughed, cried, and cheered with Hollis and his family.
Ginny Kaczmarek
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Hurricane Boy, clever, responsible 11-year-old Hollis must help his family of five climb to the roof through the attic when his Ninth Ward house is inundated with swiftly rising water. In their rush to escape, the family leaves everything–including his grandma’s insulin–behind. Surrounded by water, four children and an elderly woman wait for days on the roof, without food, drinking water, or medicine, while helicopters fly overhead, sometimes shining lights and TV cameras on them.

When neighbo
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A youth book and a quick read. Fictionalized, but based on collected stories from children who lived through Katrina. Scary, sad, ultimately uplifting. Great detail on life in the days right after Katrina.
Gary Alipio
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Take out the politics. Take out the imagery you saw on the news. Take out the grown up perspective. That's what Laura does with Hurricane Boy. Yes, I endured the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's hardships. But I always wondered what the during must have been like for a kid. Enter Hollis, a tween boy stuck right in the middle of Katrina's wrath – and a broken family. Although it's a fictional tale, Laura takes you on a physical and emotional roller-coaster ride with you in the front seat: from th ...more
Hannah Knipp
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Dragon writes a gripping tale of a New Orleans family surviving Hurricane Katrina. Though written for younger readers, as an adult I found myself unable to put the novel down and completely enchanted by the strength of the characters portrayed. Each character is masterfully written and completely relatable in a way that allows the characters to come to life. While the subject matter is heavy, Ms. Dragon is able to expertly insert humor which lightens the psychological load and contributes to ...more
Teena Myers
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great story about a young man struggling to make sense of life. Abandoned by his father at a young age when his mother died, Hollis and his 3 siblings are living with their grandmother when Hurricane Katrina floods New Orleans. The story addresses a number of issues: broken families, poverty, the plight of children that were separated from their families in the aftermath of the Hurricane. The main reoccurring theme is Hollis' desire to know his father. I choose 4 stars instead of 5 bec ...more
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice perspective from an 11 year old boy. Good book to show that even when faced with bad situations, good choices can be made. Don't blame things on your past, but strive to make a better future.
Mimi Lala
rated it liked it
Jun 08, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2014
Ami Pendley
rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2015
Kristen Christensen
rated it really liked it
Aug 27, 2015
rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2014
Felicia Turner
rated it liked it
Nov 04, 2016
rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2016
rated it it was ok
Mar 15, 2015
Michelle Pulignani
rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2014
Lauren White
rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2014
rated it liked it
Jul 21, 2018
Jane Soslow
rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2015
rated it liked it
Dec 06, 2014
Pelican Publishing
rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2014
rated it liked it
May 08, 2014
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Storm Called Katrina
  • Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure
  • Bayou Magic
  • The Listeners
  • The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square
  • Lies and Other Tall Tales
  • Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp
  • Antediluvian Tales
  • Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans
  • High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America
  • Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina
  • Meet Cécile (American Girls: Marie-Grace and Cécile, #2)
  • The Secret River
  • My New Orleans: The Cookbook
  • Wet Grave (Benjamin January, #6)
  • City of Masks (Cree Black, #1)
  • Shot in the Head a Sister's Memoir, a Brother's Struggle
  • Between Now & Sunset
Hurricane Boy is the recipient of an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award.

Hurricane Boy is also an In The Margins selection.

Laura Roach Dragon lives in the New Orleans area of Louisiana. She works with children at a local hospital. She is the author of two middle grade novels. One is called Hurricane Boy about a family's ordeal after Hurricane Katrina and the other is an anthology of scary stories that take p
More about Laura Roach Dragon

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • West of the Tularosa
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Love and Ruin
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Siddhartha
    $10.95 $2.99
  • The Orphan Daughter
    $4.99 $1.99
  • When We Were Worthy
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Somebody's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • A Night Divided
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition
    $24.95 $2.99
  • The Cherished Quilt
    $8.99 $2.99
  • To Find a Mountain
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I'll Be Your Blue Sky
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Lotterys Plus One
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Buddha
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Falls (P.S.)
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Broken Pieces
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Love Held Captive (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Girl Who Came Home
    $11.99 $1.99
  • When Jesus Wept (The Jerusalem Chronicles, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In the Name of the Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Hired Man
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Crimes Against a Book Club
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Girls of the Great War
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Map of Love: A Novel
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Wish Me Home
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Every Tongue Got to Confess
    $10.24 $1.99
  • A Golden Age
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Serena
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Dreamland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Holy Fools
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Tampa
    $11.49 $1.99
  • The Beloved Hope Chest
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Leave Myself Behind
    $15.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth Avenue Artists Society
    $11.99 $1.99
  • All That's Left of Me
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Palm Trees in the Snow
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Mary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • A Map of the World
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Chemistry Lessons
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Last Flight of Poxl West: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Come Home to Me
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Year We Left Home
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Whip
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Touching Spirit Bear (Spirit Bear, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Written on the Body
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Journey's End (Gilded Promises)
    $3.99 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »