I Survived the Galveston Hurricane, 1900 (I Survived #21)

Written by Lauren Tarshis
Review by Xina Marie Uhl

Galveston, Texas, in 1900 is the fastest-growing city in the South. The richest city in Texas bustles with activity as boats loaded with goods visit the harbor. But danger lurks as the deadliest disaster in US history is about to unfold.

Eleven-year-old Charlie Miller is a quiet boy who lives in Galveston with his family. He loves magic tricks and struggles with feeling invisible and being the target of a bully. A well-known scientist at the time says that hurricanes cannot affect Galveston, but his knowledge is proved wrong on the afternoon of September 8.

The story opens with a bang as Charlie is swept into swirling flood waters. As the tale of his everyday life emerges, real-life historical details like the city’s economic activities and vibrant social life are expertly revealed. The reader sympathizes with Charlie, and his fears and triumphs. The last section of the book reveals fascinating true-life details of the hurricane, complete with photos of the aftermath.

The disaster, which resulted in the deaths of upwards of 10,000 people, does not dwell on the terrifying storm and grisly deaths, making it perfect for its audience of second through fifth graders. Highly recommended.