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The Disaster Days

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near Seattle. It's a little disconnected from the outside world, but she's always felt completely safe there.

Which is why when she's asked one day to babysit after school, she thinks it's no big deal. Zoe and Oscar are her next-door neighbors, and Hannah just took a babysitting class that she's pretty sure makes her an e
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Sourcebooks Young Readers
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I loved this. exciting from start to finish, truly frightening. I do love reading disaster stories and this one delivers in every way. May this 9.0 earthquake never happen in real life.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-old, Hannah, is asked to babysit her two young neighbors, Zoe and Oscar. It’s only Hannah’s second time ever babysitting, but she just finished a babysitting course and nothing bad ever really happens in her quiet little neighborhood, tucked away on tiny Pelling Island. But then disaster strikes when a big earthquake hits, shutting down the ferry and bridge, meaning Hannah and her two charges are cut off from their parents and help. Injuries, a dangerously wrecked house, and a depl ...more
Molly Cluff
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Definitely one of those books that make you want to go put your emergency kit together right away! This book had it all: earthquakes, no electricity, surviving outdoors, encountering wild animals, dealing with injuries, etc. I always like seeing these stories in fiction because for some reason it makes more sense when I can visualize facts in real-life contexts. Definitely adding it to my survival recommends for MG readers at the library!
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bookaday #4. Good MG survival story, a little creepy during these social distancing times. Natural disaster stories always make me a little nervous. Hope Texas isn’t prone to earthquakes! Love the ending format.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good survival fiction for kids. Made me a little anxious though, ha!
This fast-moving story is more than an earthquake adventure. Other "disasters" were personal, but to Hannah they were just as jolting: changes in her friendship with Neha and regretting things she'd said to her parents. The aftermath of the earthquake really allowed focus on Hannah's emotional ups and downs of growing up. Teens/Preteens don't have to have "earthquake experience" to connect with her.

Girls are more likely to pick up the book, but it has great general appeal.
Kim Erwin
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
FREAKED ME OUT. Off to buy some emergency supplies.
Claire Lovegood
I don’t typically read this type of book but I actually really liked it. I am excited to read Alone in the Woods soon.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Hannah doesn't understand why her parents are SO overprotective, even though she occasionally has a hard time dealing with her asthma. She lives on Pelling, a small island outside of Seattle, and is glad that she has a chance to babysit for one of the few neighboring families. Usually, it's just for a short time while Ms. Matlock runs to the store, but when there is a gallery show, she gets to watch Oscar and Zoe for a little longer. Her mother will be home a litt
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thirteen-year-old Hannah Steele lives in the Pelling Island community of Elliott Bay, right off the coast of Seattle. On the day she sets out on her first big babysitting assignment - the first one was just while her neighbor, Andrea, ran local errands - a major earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest. Hannah is stranded with her two younger charges, siblings Zoe and Oscar Matlock. And their pet guinea pig, Jupiter. Both kids are injured in the aftermath, and Hannah, who's asthmatic, left her resc ...more
Laura Petrie
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the #kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.--- If you’re looking for an action packed read, I highly recommend this middle-grade story. As someone who took the Red Cross babysitter's training at the age of 11, you go into your first job feeling almost overconfident. You feel like you can handle any situation that comes your way. Hannah Steele has the same sense of confidence, until the absolute worst happens: an earthquake. Now Hannah and t ...more
Kate Waggoner
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-read

Thank you to @sourcebookskids for sharing an advance copy of The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens with the #kidlitexchange network. This book was released in October 2019. All opinions are my own.

Hannah is thirteen-years-old and is babysitting Zoe and Oscar, the Matlock children, for the second time ever. This time, their mother will be leaving the island of Pelling and going across the bridge to Seattle for an art show. This will be Hannah's first time really babysitting and her
Valerie McEnroe
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: survival, disasters
I'm at the end of the bell curve on this, but I just couldn't get into this story of a girl who is stuck on her Seattle island community babysitting when an earthquake hits. In theory, it sounds like an excellent plot. In fact, I was fully on board in the lead up chapters, but once the disaster struck, too much didn't square with what I thought would happen in an event like this. As much as I tried not to let details like that interfere with my enjoyment of the rest of the story, it remained a d ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, it’s been a really long time since I read a MG book that kept me on the edge of my seat like this one did. And I loved it! I loved the suspense, the adventure, the ingenuity and the love that filled every page.

Hannah is 13, lives on a small, sleepy Seattle island. Her day begins like any other; she misses the bus (not unusual), her mom is over protective when Hannah realizes she forgot her inhaler, she feels a nagging worry her best friend is slipping away. Looking back, Hannah so wishes sh
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I had to double-check to see if the author had any connection to Seattle/Puget Sound (she doesn't as far as I could tell, so props to her for doing great research) because there were things that most people who haven't lived in Washington wouldn't know... like the fact that on days when Mt. Rainier is actually visible instead of covered by clouds, locals actually say "The mountain is out!" :P The whole thing felt very genuine to me as 5 of the 18 months I spent living in northwestern Washington ...more
M.M. Hudson
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
As I generally do not read a preview for a book, I had no idea that the disaster would be an epic earthquake. The title of the book only alluded to the fact that it would be several days and there would be some kind of disaster the characters would have to deal with. I feel that the book cover was a good draw for the inside.

The main characters are three children stuck in this massive earthquake alone. With only the skills of some scouting, memories, and a babysitting class, the main character, H
Allison Renner
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hannah is babysitting for the second time in her life. She's taken a safety course for babysitters with her friend, and she'll just be at her neighbor's house, but after forgetting her inhaler one too many times, Hannah's mom isn't sure Hannah's responsible enough to be in charge of other kids. Hannah is determined to prove her mother wrong, and is doing a good job until an earthquake shakes the Seattle area and Hannah and the kids are stranded in a damaged house with limited supplies without kn ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don’t remember the last time I found such a perfect MG disaster book. My middle grade days were filled with The Hatchet series and while I still wonder what would happen if my plane crashed in the middle of nowhere and I was all alone, THE DISASTER DAYS by Rebecca Behrens really brought a new type of disaster to a new generation.
Just a few months ago there was that string of earthquakes in California and we’ve had to have discussions with our kids about safety and emergency situations. Now, T
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's interesting that I chose to read this in the middle of a pandemic with natural disasters making things even more difficult. Maybe I just needed a reminder that surviving difficult things is possible despite numerous mistakes being made by people in the process. Behrens tells a compelling tale of survival in the face of tremendous odds.

Hannah has only baby-sat once before, but she doesn't foresee any problems sitting for Zoe and Oscar. They are her neighbors and at 8 and 10, they shouldn't r
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down! Kid-me would have read breathlessly, excited and scared to find out what happened next. Adult-me read the same way, but with a bit more emotion since I'm old enough to be Hannah's mom and wanted to swoop in and rescue them.

Hannah was such a relatable character - I remember being that age and feeling mature enough to babysit and be in charge, but at the same time feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. Her reactions and choices were realistic, and through it al
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
@Kidlitexchange #partner

Thank you to the publisher @sourcebookskids and the author @rebeccabehrensbooks for sharing an advance copy of #thedisasterdays with the #kidlitexchange network. #thedisasterdays was released October 1, 2019. All opinions are my own. 

We’ve seen an increase in interest in survival stories in our library. Students obsess over the I Survived series. So, when I read the description for Disaster Days, and saw it was a survival storyI knew I had to check it out. 

Rebecca Behrens
Thirteen-year-old Hannah, who lives on an island just across from Seattle is tasked with baby-sitting the two neighbor kids just down the road from her home. Everything is proceeding normally until Juan de Fuca comes to play. A major earthquake shakes the Pacific Northwest, and while the three kids make it through the initial shock and aftershocks, they are alone on the island and cut off from everyone, including their parents.

With the loss of electricity, cell service, and internet, Hannah stru
Anita McDivitt Barrios
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, drama
Today is Earth Day, and I thought what better than a review of a book that shows kids responding the best they can to Mother Earth's wrath.

On an island off Seattle, Hannah takes her first babysitting gig -- and an earthquake strikes.

Everything we routinely rely upon -- the house staying stable and not collapsing and killing you in aftershocks, fresh water in our pipes, electricity running in wires in closed circuits (not electrifying whatever they touch and sparking fires) -- is stripped from he
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a compelling disaster/survival tale with a realistically flawed main character who makes understandable mistakes while babysitting two kids during a terrible earthquake. Survival tales aren't normally really my thing, but I know lots of kids love them, so I wanted to check this out and see if it would be good to recommend. I think kids who are fans of survival tales will really like this, although I wonder if the pandemic will dampen people's enthusiasm for these kinds of stories (I say ...more
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Grades 3+

Anything that can go wrong will is the unofficial motto of this contemporary survival book. Hannah is babysitting her neighbors for the first time alone on the peninsula where she lives when a massive earthquake hits. Everyone comes out of the initial quake unscathed, but that won't last long. No adults are in their isolated neighborhood, and Hannah's basic babysitting course didn't cover major disasters - or life without access to adults. Hannah is realistically flawed and kids will li
Lauren- The Smile Lines
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to kidlitexchange for a free copy.
Are you serious with this book?! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time reading QUESTION: Do you have an emergency kit in your house?? What do you have in it? I need to get one together after reading this book!
The Disaster Days is about a disaster that occurs during one of Hannah’s first babysitting experiences! You will be turning the pages so fast to see if these three characters can survive this crisis!
I love how you can really feel Hannah’s t
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hannah is an average middle school girl trying to cope with best friend drama and gain a little independence. She and a few neighbors live on an island and rely on a bridge to connect them to the mainland. Hannah took a babysitting class with her friends and now occasionally babysits for the other family on the island. When an earthquake hits while Hannah is babysitting after school Hannah has to survive but keep two kids and a family pet alive too, without adults and without the internet. The e ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book took me a little while to get into it fully. I did end up enjoying this one though. I thought it was really neat that this book takes place over a four day period. Most books span a bunch of days so this was really cool!! I think that kids who deal with earthquakes would be better prepared for one to happen. But, I think with Hannah being alone with other kids that she may not be as ready as if her parents would have been home.

The story was very good and I liked learning more about Ha
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My heart is still racing! Hannah is a typical middle-schooler -- trying to figure out why her best friend is spending more time with another friend and chafing at her parents' over-protectiveness. She lives on a remote peninsula with only 2 neighbors across a bridge from an island off of Seattle. She even thinks of her home as her own utopia. After school while babysitting for her neighbor, they experience a massive earthquake and suddenly Hannah is in charge of two children, one of whom is inju ...more
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Rebecca Behrens is the award-winning author of three critically acclaimed middle-grade novels that explore famous historical figures and fascinating places: When Audrey Met Alice, Summer of Lost and Found, and The Last Grand Adventure. Her thrillingly realistic survival story The Disaster Days is a Junior Library Guild selection, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book, and an ILA Teachers’ Choices sel ...more

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