Ranger in Time: Hurricane Katrina Rescue, by Kate Messner, for Timeslip Tuesday

Hurricane Katrina Rescue, by Kate Messner (Scholastic June 2018), is my first venture into  the Ranger in Time series for elementary/younger middle grade kids (this is the 8th book).  Ranger is a rescue dog who failed at the last step of his training because of squirrels.  But with the help of a magic first aid kit, which he keeps carefully stashed away from his human family, he travels through time to put his skills to good use.

In this most recent installment of the series, a girl named Clare is struggling to survive the horrific catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina, which has flooded her home in the Ninth Ward.  She must keep herself and her grandmother alive while the water rises, until they are trapped first in the attic, and then up on the roof of the house....Ranger can't make all the dangers go away, but he can help, and does, and gradually Clare, her grandmother, and the dog make it to safety, in small, risky steps. Full page illustrations make it even easier to visualize what Clare is going through, although Kate Messner's writing makes everything vivid on its own!

It's the sort of time travel I think of as educational--using the conceit to coax kids who wouldn't be drawn to straight-up historical fiction into learning about the past.  Ranger adds tons of kid-appeal, and is helpful, but the story could exist without him in it.  This isn't a criticism of the book, just a thought on what sort of time travel it is!  Of course, another adventure to having a friendly rescue dog around is that it keeps the horror from being overwhelming; the fact there's a happy ending helps too.

As a story, it's a vivid portrayal of the devastated Ninth Ward, starring a particularly brave girl. A fast, gripping read.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Ranger in Time books. I didn't know about this one. Thanks for telling me about it.


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