Hurricane Song

Ethan Killeen

I was incredibly intrigued by Paul Volponi’s historical fiction novel, Hurricane Song.  This story takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana in the middle of Hurricane Katrina. Miles, a high schooler, is staying with his jazz-obsessed dad who he doesn’t see much. When Hurricane Katrina hits, the two of them and Miles’s Uncle Roy are forced to move into the Superdome, where the New Orleans Saints play. Miles, who loves football, thinks that this will be a great experience. But many things make this event miserable, including a loss of running water, dehydration, starvation, assault, and even a suicide. Will the trio be able to survive in the Superdome until Katrina has died down?

If people enjoy historical fiction books, this one should be a good read for them. However, due to some inappropriate language, I would recommend this book to young adults. Though this book is relatively short, Hurricane Song is packed with plot twists and action. The climax was well developed and the characters and setting were truly realistic. Miles, the main character, tells the story from his point of view, which was interesting since he had an unique perspective during these events.  

Miles’s parents were divorced and he did not see his father too often. Although close to 50 percent come from divorced parents today, the challenges presented in the story will bring them closer together.  Miles is a fictional example of one of these children. For example, when a character dies in the book, Miles plays music alongside his father during the funeral.  Miles’s father says after they are done playing: “Cyrus would of appreciated what your drum had to say about him, anybody would’ve” This was the beginning of a the tight bond Miles and his father build during the rest of the book.  Hurricane Song was a great book and definitely met my expectations, for it was a tragic, yet touching book.