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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Review: The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens

The Disaster Days 
By Rebecca Behrens 
October 1, 2019 
Sourcebooks Young Readers 

Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near Seattle. It's a little disconnected from the outside world, but she's always felt completely safe there. 

Which is why when she's asked one day to babysit after school, she thinks it's no big deal. Zoe and Oscar are her next-door neighbors, and Hannah just took a babysitting class that she's pretty sure makes her an expert. She isn't even worried that she left her inhaler at home. 

Then the shaking begins. 

The terrifying earthquake only lasts four minutes but it changes everything, damaging the house, knocking out the power, and making cell service nonexistent. Even worse, the ferry and the bridge connecting the kids to help―and their parents―are both blocked. Which means they're stranded and alone... With Hannah in charge, as things go from bad to dangerous. 


Thirteen-year-old, Hannah, is asked to babysit her two young neighbors, Zoe and Oscar. It’s only Hannah’s second time ever babysitting, but she just finished a babysitting course and nothing bad ever really happens in her quiet little neighborhood, tucked away on tiny Pelling Island. But then disaster strikes when a big earthquake hits, shutting down the ferry and bridge, meaning Hannah and her two charges are cut off from their parents and help. Injuries, a dangerously wrecked house, and a depleting food supply quickly make things even worse and scarier. How will Hannah and the kids survive? 

Rebecca Behrens’ The Disaster Days is a compelling and empowering middle-grade disaster story that will have readers on the edge of their seats and breathless! 

With its utterly gripping story, and Behrens mastery of suspense, emotion, and earthquake disaster knowledge, The Disaster Days is an unputdownable page-turner. Behrens has clearly done her earthquake research, as every aspect of Hannah’s story feels authentic and real. Every heart-wrenching and lump-in-your-throat moment of fear, panic, and doubt is powerfully felt, and every heartwarming moment of triumph, obstacles overcome, and teamwork and sweetness between the characters will be relished and celebrated by readers. 

Readers will easily connect with the three engaging, excellently developed young characters. Through all their likable qualities and flaws, victories and mistakes, Hannah, Zoe, and Oscar feel incredibly real...and by the end of the book, they’ll feel like long lost friends to readers.  

The Disaster Days will take young readers on an unforgettable, emotionally charged journey that will encourage, inspire, and educate. A suspenseful, spectacularly crafted survival story! 


5/5 Cupcakes

Rebecca Behrens is the author of three critically acclaimed middle-grade novels that explore famous historical figures and fascinating places: WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE (2014), SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND (2016), and the award-winning THE LAST GRAND ADVENTURE (2018). Her latest release, THE DISASTER DAYS, is a thrillingly realistic survival story and a Junior Library Guild selection. Rebecca grew up in Wisconsin, studied in Chicago, and now lives with her husband in New York City. You can visit her online to learn more about her books at 

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