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The Disaster Days

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  43 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Sourcebooks Young Readers
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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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 ...more
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.
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
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 shesets 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 ...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 ...more
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 ...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
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,
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,
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
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
Dr. Rugani
The concept of an earthquake in the Cascades is not unreasonable, and the author is correct that the last major earthquake known to happen there was 1700 (I think I got that date right), which was determined by records in Japan, actually, and a tsunami they had.

As for the novel, characters were well written, and there was a decent balance of disaster, by which I mean there was enough and plausible types of disaster to move the story along reasonably, but not so much as to become ridiculous. I
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
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
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
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 ...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
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 ...more
Amber Webb
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This book had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Every page turn had a new disaster for Hannah. Her first real time babysitting and an earthquake starts to pull her world apart. Hannah has to deal with every struggle you can think of: houses falling apart, no food, lack of water, caring for a pet, giant cuts with no medical care, broken bones bears, no cell connection and more. You will so badly want Hannah to catch a break and know that the story ends okay.
Hannah had to learn
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Great middle grade read - annoyed with her mother, feeling abandoned by her best friend, Hannah is feeling fine babysitting the next-door neighbors...until an earthquake hits. Dealing with aftershock, a collapsing house, bears, little food and drinkable water, broken bones, Hannah is in for the ride of their lives as she struggles to be the best babysitter - but finds herself disappointing her charges and herself in the struggle to survive.
Pam Carlson
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
13-year-old Hannah thinks of the small island off Seattle where she lives as utopia. The only neighbors are the Matlock family and Mr. Araninta. She's a little nervous about her first official babysitting job for 5th grader Zoe and third grader Oscar. Things are fine until an 8.6 earthquake hits, stranding them with no safe place to wait for help. Readers in earthquake country will definitely want to check their emergency plans and kits after (or before) finishing this scary adventure.
A tale of survival about 8th grader Hannah babysitting for the first time when an earthquake hits the island off Seattle where they live. No parents, no cell phones, inside or outside everything is potentially catastrophic and she’s on her own....with constant asthma attacks to boot! This is a great middle grade fast-paced cli-fi story perfect for grade 4 and up. Like Shusterman’s Dry but for the younger set.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-old Hannah is upset because her newly diagnosed case of asthma kept her off the soccer team and away from her best friend Neha. Meanwhile Neha seems to have found another best friend, which has become further irritating to Hannah. Read the rest of my review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.... Follow me to get full review in your inbox!
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hannah gets a babysitting job from her neighbor, thinking it would be an ordinary afternoon with Zoey and Oscar. She was wrong. When the ground shakes, everything goes wrong. Normal appliances like the light fixtures and the refrigerator become deathtraps, and Hannah must figure out how to get the three of them out alive. This book was not very difficult. I liked this book because it was very descriptive and used creative metaphors.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The last line and scene of this book made tears come to my eyes. The suspense of a survival story culminating in what redefined the word utopia for the main character kept every page turning. Kudos to Behrens for creating a heroine who is gloriously flawed but defines the meaning of perseverance. A great story, and a sobering one, too, if you live in earthquake country.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: c-a
I liked this one. I thought the Hannah handled the situation very well (for being a teenager) and I thought the story had enough action to keep readers interested until the end. Sometimes it felt like what else could possibly happen to these kids, but it wasn't unbelievable. I was happy with the end, even though it felt a little rushed.

Great book.

I especially love the fact that Hannah acknowledged the whole "Wow, so telling me to get a doctor and not be a hero is pretty useless since I am physically not capable of getting an adult or doctor to help me. Kinda wish they'd expanded on that."

Donna Dobihal Smith
Having been a babysitter in my youth, I am so glad I didn't come up against the struggles this courageous protagonist faced! Wow, what a wild ride! Kids will eat this one up in one sitting!
Great for a book club with mixed genders or mother-daughter groups. I loved it!
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Rebecca Behrens is the author of three critically acclaimed middle-grade novels that explore famous historical figures and fascinating places: WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE (2014), SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND (2016), and the award-winning THE LAST GRAND ADVENTURE (2018). Her latest release, THE DISASTER DAYS, is a thrillingly realistic survival story and a Junior Library Guild selection. Rebecca grew up in ...more