The Disaster Days, by Rebecca Behrens

If Hannah had known what was going to happen, she would have told her dad, off on a business trip, that she loved him.

If she had known, she wouldn't have gotten into a fight with her best friend.

And if she had known, maybe she wouldn't have grumped at her mom's advise.

But she didn't. And now a devastating earthquake has stranded her and the two younger kids she's babysitting on an island.  There are no grown-ups.  No power.  No water.  No phone service.  Will they make it?

The Disaster Days, by Rebecca Behrens, is a gripping story of kids surviving on their own after an earthquake that will set your mind racing!  

It's  only Hannah's second time babysitting the neighbor's kids; she's not all that much older than them (she in 7th, Zoe's in 4th and Oscar is in 3rd  Her mother has fussed at her for not being responsible enough to look after anyone, but Hannah feels fairly confident, even if her mother won't be on the island where they live that evening either.  Both moms will be back in just a few hours.

But then an earthquake strikes the Northwest coast, and the hours turn into days.  Hannah does her best to keep a level head, but she's only a kid herself, and desperately worried.   There's an emergency radio at Zoe and Oscar's house, and the news is terrible.  The immediate situation is too. The house is a wreck, and is being rocked by aftershocks, but outside is cold and wet.  Food and water runs out, and a gas leak forces the kids outside.  Both Zoe and Oscar injure themselves badly, and Hannah blames herself (with some reason).  But though she herself is almost incapacitated by asthma, she carries on, even when things keep getting worse...

It's my favorite sort of survival book, with tons of  room for second guessing the characters!  Hannah did pretty well for a 7th grader, but would I have done better?  (not that I'm competitive with fictional characters or anything, but I've read more survival books....).  It's tense enough that it really seems possible one of the kids is going to die, if not all three of them, or at the very least the guinea pig (this is a middle grade book, so they don't all die), but it gets to this point so realistically and gradually that it doesn't seem contrived at all.

Very much recommended to anyone who loves kids surviving on their own stories!

disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher.


  1. Oh wow this sounds DELIGHTFUL, exactly the kind of book I'd have loved as a kid. There was a Babysitters Club Super Special where two of the babysitters and some of the kids got stuck on a desert island and they had to fend for themselves, and I LOVED it.

    1. yes, I would have to! The blub on Goodreads is "Hatchet meets the Babysitters club" so there you go!

  2. I LOVE survival stories. I think they are so good for kids to read, but I just love them myself. I hadn't heard of this one. Thanks for the heads up.


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