Thursday, September 08, 2005

Observance: 1900 Galveston Hurricane

Today is the anniversary of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. The devastation caused by that storm is eerily familiar to the scenes we see on our televisions today.

Galveston's Summer of the Storm by Julie Lake, 2003

Austin writer Julie Lake has recreated the time period with research and imagination.

Abby Kate is enjoying and extended visit with her grandmother in Galveston Texas on September 8, 1900. The island residents had little warning that the storm of the century is about to break. Living at sea level, high tides were common. In the beginning Abby Kate thinks it is exciting to see ocean spray "crashing up way above the street car trestle." As the water starts to rise the excitement turns to terror. Like many victims that day, Abby Kate must cling to prayer and a makeshift raft in order to survive the nightmare.

Lake continues the story through the storm's aftermath. Readers will have a good idea of how the citizens of Galveston regrouped to heal and remake their city. Lake has done her homework and the after word includes excellent historical information. American Red Cross founder, Clara Barton personally visited the island to assist with the recovery.

It will be interesting to see what children's books emerge in Katrina's wake.

The 1900 Storm
CNN: The Galveston Hurricane
The Handbook of Texas: GALVESTON HURRICANE OF 1900
Julie Lake's website

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