Parents' Guide to

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere

By Sally Engelfried, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Unflinching story of girl who survives Katrina.

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Love it!

I am 11 and I cried about 3-4 times in this book. But I’m really sad it’s over.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Armani's close-knit relationship with her family is the centerpiece here, and it's what makes this story so powerful and relatable as Armani faces an extreme situation most kids won't experience. The day before the storm and her birthday, Armani's family is depicted as warm and loving but not perfect: Armani is easily annoyed by her four siblings and often feels jealous of the attention they get from her parents and her grandma. Her almost constant grouchiness with her brothers and sisters can be grating, but it makes it all the more meaningful when the storm comes and Armani realizes just how devastated she will be if she loses any of them. Though the writer's overuse of dialect in the dialogue can be distracting, the continuous action and the overwhelming enormity of the problems Armani is forced to solve will draw readers in.

Because this book is based on a real historical event, it's disappointing that there's no author's note explaining what is fact and what is fiction in Armani's story, but some readers may be inspired to research the real people and places affected by the storm. Given the recent media attention to the lack of diversity in children's books, it's disappointing there are no African-American faces on the cover and that the publisher instead chose to depict Armani's rain boots.

Book Details

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