MMGM: The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens

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The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens (PC: SourcebooksKids)


Hatchet meets The Babysitters Club in this epic and thrilling survival story about pushing oneself to the limit in the face of a crisis.

Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near Seattle. It’s a little disconnected from the outside world, but she’s always felt completely safe there.

Which is why when she’s asked one day to babysit after school, she thinks it’s no big deal. Zoe and Oscar are her next-door neighbors, and Hannah just took a babysitting class that she’s pretty sure makes her an expert. She isn’t even worried that she left her inhaler at home.

Then the shaking begins.

The terrifying earthquake only lasts four minutes but it changes everything, damaging the house, knocking out the power, and making cell service nonexistent. Even worse, the ferry and the bridge connecting the kids to help―and their parents―are both blocked. Which means they’re stranded and alone… With Hannah in charge, as things go from bad to dangerous.


I don’t remember the last time I found such a perfect MG disaster book. My middle grade days were filled with The Hatchet series and while I still wonder what would happen if my plane crashed in the middle of nowhere and I was all alone, THE DISASTER DAYS by Rebecca Behrens really brought a new type of disaster to a new generation.

Just a few months ago there was that string of earthquakes in California and we’ve had to have discussions with our kids about safety and emergency situations. Now, The Disaster Days is the timely story for my kids (and for any reader, really.)

Hannah is a typical MG character who doesn’t understand why her mom is so strict and is fighting with her best friend. But typical quickly turns to atypical when Hanna and her babysitting charges suffer through an earthquake and are stranded without parents or help.

The situation escalates and forces Hannah to make decisions that will decide who survives and who she ultimately becomes.

This story was truly page-turning and exciting. It was just the right amount of realistic and unrealistic to suspend the reader’s disbelief. I really loved Hannah, Oscar, and Zoe and would gladly recommend their story to all the MG readers in my life.

Visit Rebecca Behren’s website for Educator Guides, Discussion Guides for book clubs, and other earthquake safety links and topics.

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