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Contact: Nichole Gilbert
For Immediate Release
September 6, 2005


YALSA offers recommended reading for teens in light of recent disaster


CHICAGO - The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has developed a reading list of books about overcoming disaster and stories of survival for teens.  The booklist, which features fiction and nonfiction, was created to help librarians, educators and concerned adults guide teens to books that may help them cope after Hurricane Katrina.




Anderson, Laurie Halse.   Storm Rescue.   American Girl.  2001.

When a hurricane hits her town, Suniata must face her fears in order to help a stranded cat.


Cooney, Caroline B. Flash Fire. Scholastic Paperbacks. 1996. 

Dana is a bored 15-year-old who wishes for some excitement in her life - until the day the brushfire sweeps through her L.A. neighborhood.


Cooney, Caroline.   Flight #116 Is Down!   Point.  1997.

A plane crash and the massive rescue effort that ensues forces 16-year-old Heidi to find strengths she didn't know she possessed.


Garland, Sherry.   The Silent Storm.   Harcourt.  1993. 

13-year-old Alyssa has not spoken since seeing her parents die in a hurricane, and now, three years later, another storm threatens the home she shares with her grandfather on Galveston Island.


Gross, Virginia T.   The Day It Rained Forever: A Story Of The Johnstown Flood. Puffin, 1993.  

Eleven-year-old Christina experiences the devastating Johnstown Flood, in 1889.   Part of the "Once upon America" series.


Howe, James, ed.   The Color of Absence: 12 Stories About Loss and Hope.   Atheneum Books for Young Readers.  2001.

From the introduction: "In adolescence we feel our losses as if for the first time, with a greater depth of pain and drama than we are aware of having experienced ever before."


Maynard, Joyce. The Usual Rules. St. Martin's Press. 2003.

Scenes of national tragedy are also the personal battlefields.   When 13-year-old Wendy loses her mother in 9/11, the world as she knows it us upended and the usual rules no longer apply.


Rochman, Hazel and Darlene Z. McCampbell, eds.   Leaving Home: Stories.   HarperCollins.  1997.

Young people leave home to discover the world beyond.   Includes stories by Sandra Cisneros, Gary Soto and more.


Vaught, Susan.   Stormwitch.   Bloomsbury.  2005.

Haitian-born Ruba Cleo calls on her ancestral spiritual powers to help her battle racism in 1969 Mississippi, and these powers help her stand up to the terrible destruction of Hurricane Camille.




Barnard, Bryn.   Dangerous Planet: Natural Disasters That Changed History.   Crown Publishers.  2003.

Provides readers with information about specific occurrences and their impact on human history.


Cart, Michael, ed. 911: The Book of Help. Cricket Books. 2002.

Young Adult authors reflect and explore their feelings and reactions to the devastation brought by 9/11.


Fitzgerald, Helen. The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends. Simon & Schuster.   2000.

Questions about grief and what you can do to help or to cope.


Gow, Mary.   Johnstown Flood:   The Day The Dam Burst.  Enslow.  2003.

A nonfiction account of the deadly 1889 flood.


Larson, Erik.   Isaac's Storm: a Man, a Time and the Deadliest Hurricane in History.   Crown Publishers.  1999.

Through the letters of Isaac Cline and contemporary eyewitness reports, the fate of Galveston in 1900 is revealed.


Lauber, Patricia.   Hurricanes: Earth's Mightiest Storms.   Scholastic.  1996.

Full-color photos and dramatic text complement the science and history in this book.


O'Toole, Donna.   Facing Change:   Falling Apart and Coming Together Again in the Teen Years.  Compassion Books.  1995.

All kinds of losses experienced by teenagers are listed and validated. Coping strategies, identifying and using a support system... a hopeful and practical book.


Sheets, Bob and Jack Williams.   Hurricane Watch: Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on Earth.   Vintage.  2001.

The science of hurricanes and the history of their forecasting.


"Books can be therapeutic and help people cope with events in their lives," said YALSA President Pam Spencer Holley.   "We are deeply concerned for everyone effected by Hurricane Katrina and hope this booklist helps in some small way."


Adults and librarians wanting to offer teens additional or alternative reading can visit YALSA's Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Web site at


Please visit the American Library Association Homepage at for updates on libraries and librarians affected by the hurricane and information on how to donate to the relief effort.


YALSA is the world leader in promoting young adult literature and provides seven selected lists of young adult literature and three literary awards each year.  Award-winning books and final booklists will be announced in January.  While the books are selected for teens from 12 to 18 years of age, the titles span a broad range of reading and maturity levels.  YALSA encourages adults to take an active role in helping individual teens choose those books that are the best fit for them and their families. 


YALSA is the fastest growing division of the ALA.


For more information about YALSA booklists, please visit the Web at, or contact the YALSA office by e-mail:; or phone:  1(800) 545-2433 ext. 4390.