Harry and the Hurricane is a young reader’s story of survival based on true events in the life of the author’s father when he was a young boy in Florida in the early to mid-1920s. The book is written by Gordon Berg and illustrated by Emilee Petersmark.
Life was good for Harry until he found himself stranded alone with his dog outside in the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 and its terrifying 150 mph winds.
It is the story of a boy who faces terror and finds the power of love.
John and Helen Seybold, early entrepreneurs of modern Miami and cousins of Harry’s mother, generously helped this family of Michigan migrants establish their new lives in southeast Florida.
When the near category 5 hurricane slammed into the coast unexpectedly, it plunged Miami’s flagging economy into a deep economic depression. It left 47,000 residents homeless overnight. Nearly 100 years later, it is still regarded as one of this nation’s worst natural disasters.
“I read Harry and the Hurricane and thoroughly enjoyed it,” said John Allen, executive director of the Coral Gables Museum. “[It] combines some whimsical elements with real fear, and an excellent amount of local history. I personally think every child will get something out of it — be it history, fantasy, or just a great story. Well done!”
Jeremy Stringer, a survivor of Hurricane Matthew (2016), said,
“Reading Harry and the Hurricane was an exhilarating and page-turning experience for my daughters and me. The vivid historical description of this tragedy closely matches my own experience of surviving a tropical hurricane.”
Gordon Berg will be reading from and talking about Harry and the Hurricane at the Coral Gables Museum Family Day on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 2 to 5 p.m. The event is free.
The museum is at 285 Aragorn Ave. in Coral Gables.
Also, the Coral Gables Branch Library will host the Miami-Dade Public Library System’s Author Series with Gordon Berg on Thursday, Aug. 8, from 4 to 5 p.m. Berg will read from his book and share his personal journey of writing Harry and the Hurricane with creative writers (teens and older). The event is open free to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the Coral Gables Branch Library, 3443 Segovia St, in Coral Gables.