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The Storm
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Children suffer during disasters. As an author of children’s books, Barbara Barbieri McGrath felt that much could be learned from children who had experienced Hurricane Katrina. The stories and art of children in the Biloxi, Mississippi, public schools provided a perspective that moves the reader.

Art and stories allow children to heal from many different kinds of experiences. Author McGrath and her son traveled to Mississippi with boxes of books for the public schools. Delighted that the books would help when schools re-opened, she was reminded by a teacher that art is an important way for children to heal.

Children Reveal Their Perspectives

Nancy Hunter, an instructional trainer for Biloxi Public Schools, helped with the collection of drawings, paintings, and writings of the students. The resulting volume, “The Storm,” presents a number of these insightful pieces. The honesty of feelings shines through these expressions of a traumatic, life-changing event. Many readers will be touched, often to the point of tears as children reveal their perspectives. A portion of the proceeds from each book that is sold will be donated to the Biloxi Public Schools.

The following come from children and hint at the contents of the book that are divided into sections such as evacuation, storm, aftermath, and hope:

  • “Things are not where they should be.” Jasmine Tran, grade  
  •  “My house drowned.” Vy Pham, Kindergarten

    My favorite was a poem by Jasmine Ray, grade 8:

    A morning of thunder
    A morning of rain
    A morning of sorrow
    A morning of pain.

    Think about the children in your community. During times of disaster, what services and resources exist to help them cope? How can you encourage the creation of a plan that focuses on this type of need?

    ISBN 13:  978-1-58089-173-8;  ISBN 10:  1-58089-173-x

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