Katrina Book Written And Illustrated By Biloxi Children Will Soon Hit Book Stores - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Katrina Book Written And Illustrated By Biloxi Children Will Soon Hit Book Stores

"I saw some boats people are in and the glass had been broken," third grader Tai Nguyen remembered. "And then people in there, they started crying."

Children recalled the vivid images of the dark moments, when Katrina turned their world upside down.

"I drew a car," described third grader Rodrick Murphy. "It tore into pieces and I drew a tornado, and it went through the trees."

"The window broke and the water flooded," said another third grader Cathy Tran.

"We woke up because the house was rocking," sixth grader Matthew Santiago read from his work. "We sat inside the porch and watched my uncle's house fall."

More than 100-riveting storm stories, reflections, and artwork fill the pages of the new book "The Storm: Students of Biloxi, Mississippi, Remember Hurricane Katrina." For the first time, a few of the book's authors and artists got a chance to see their creativity in the final draft.

"I had not let anybody see this. Nobody. Look right there. Isn't that exciting?" Nancy Hunter asked the group as she pointed to the pages.

Hunter is the Instructional Trainer for the Biloxi School District. Shortly after the storm, she met a children's author from Natick, Massachusetts, who was in town doing relief work and ended up lost. When the author learned that the children were using creative artwork and stories to heal, she asked to see their work. Hunter sent her hundreds of selections. Soon, everyone will get to see some of those inspirational stories compiled in the book.

"When you look at the pages of the book, you realize it took a lot of strength to get through what they got through and they did it," said Hunter. "We're proud of them and we're proud to have a book to show the efforts of these kids in Biloxi."

The collection focuses on lessons learned from the storm, as well as recovery and hope.

"I feel happy that it went this far, and that I'm an author now," said Matthew Santiago.

"I was surprised," said Tai Nguyen. "Because they chose me for the book and I can't wait to get the book."

"It's very exciting, and it's just so nice to have something so good come out of something that was so horrible," said Hunter.

All the artists and authors of the book will be honored at a reception next Monday night. The book will be released next Tuesday, and costs $9.95 for paperback, $18.95 for hardback.

If you'd like to find out how to purchase a copy, go to Amazon.com or your nearest Barnes and Noble book store. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Biloxi School District.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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