One School, One Read

  • Begin: page 122 – “In the dark we pass him...”

  • End: page 135 – “….like they told us to"


Information for this Section: 

  • The National Guard played a role in Hurricane Katrina. By September 1, three days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, 23 states had National Guard forces in the operating area, with boots on the ground. On September 8, 2005, at the peak of the response, more than 51,000 Army and Air Guardsmen were on the ground in the Gulf region. During this disaster more than 17,000 people were saved from flooding or other hazards, and 51,000 people were airlifted out of the affected areas by the Army and Air National Guard. The National Guard (both Army and Air) flew approximately 7,000 sorties, and airlifted nearly 11,000 tons of cargo to the affected areas.


Discussions Questions

    1. Trudell says “A son should know about his daddy, ‘specially if he gone. Maybe you think it don’t matter, but it do.” Do you agree with him??

    2. On page 130, Zane says that finding the chair gives the group a sense of hope. Why do you think that it did that?

    3. Trudell says of a man shouting out gibberish at the sky “he broken.” What does he mean?

    4. On page 135 Trudell says it’s his fault they are in this mess because they didn’t leave, but Malvina disagrees. She mentions some very good reasons that people wouldn’t leave. What is our responsibility to people in this position? 


  • Malvina finds an office chair to use as a wheelchair for Tru. How hard would it be to push a man in a office chair through the streets of New Orleans? Would it go in a straight line? How would you manage the bumps and cracks in the road? How much team work would you need to move a chair in a straight line with someone sitting in it?
  • On page 135, there is mention of buses for evacuees: “That the line for buses. They keep saying wait for the buses. Buses supposed to take us away, make us someone else’s problem. Houston, they say or Atlanta-anywhere but New Orleans. We been waitin’ and waitin’, but they ain’t no buses.” Listen to an interview about how the evacuation fell apart and why there were no buses.
  • Here is a link to view the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the Ninth Ward. Looking at the photos is heartbreaking, what does it show you? 
  • Trudell says that the National Guard is in charge at the Superdome. Malvina disagrees and says “Ain’t nobody in charge.”  Read this article with more information about these events.and/or explore this infographic, then discuss the National Guard's role in Katrina..