Finding Someplace

Finding Someplace 
By: Denise Lewis Patrick 

Release Date: August 4, 2015
Pages: 224 
Audience:  Grade 4 and up 

The Story 
In August of 2005, all Reesie can think about is her upcoming thirteenth birthday. It is going to be the best birthday in New Orleans! She has been preparing for it for weeks by sewing the perfect birthday outfit. As her birthday arrives, Hurricane Katrina bares closer and closer to New Orleans. After realizing that the family will be directly hit by the massive hurricane, Reesie’s family cancels her party. Her mom (a nurse) and her father (a policeman), are called into work. Before they go, they arrange for Reesie to leave the city of New Orleans with her uncle. Reesie goes to sleep and waits for her uncle to pick her up the next day. When she wakes up the next morning, her uncle calls to tell her that he is having trouble getting to her. In the rush of canceling her party and leaving for the storm, Reesie forgot to cancel the order on her birthday cake. As she waits for her uncle she decides to pick her cake up  at Ms. Martine’s house.  While she is there, her uncle calls to let her know that he cannot come. Reesie must weather the storm with Ms. Martine.

As the storm hits, Ms. Martine tells Reesie about her life to help keep her mind off the storm. As quickly as it came, it ends. When there is a knock at the door, Reesie expects it to be her parents, but it is her friend’s older brother, Dre, and his new wife with bad news. There is water coming. Reesie and her new friends climb to the roof where a boat comes by to save them. Reesie briefly goes to the Superdome where she is mugged. Luckily, her police officer father has been looking for her & finds her there.  With the mass destruction in their neighborhood, there is no going back home. Thankfully, Reesie’s mom has family in New Jersey. Both Reesie and her mother move to New Jersey while her dad stays in New Orleans to rebuild. Even though the hurricane is over with, Reesie faces PSD. Will home ever be the same? Reesie learns that home is not the place you live, but it is the people that you are with that make it home.


I had trouble putting this book down! I really became invested in the characters. I especially love Ms. Martine! I wish she was in the story more. I respect the author’s ability to create such interesting supporting characters. I was interested in following all of them to see what happened. In middle grade books, this is rare & it really made the book come alive for me.


The ending did not feel complete to me. I did like that Reesie went back to New Orleans, but I still felt like there was a lot of unanswered questions like what will her family do now? Perhaps the author left the ending this way to portray how evacuees felt, but it still felt incomplete.
I especially wanted more with Reesie’s relationship with Orlando. I felt like this part could have either been taken out of the book or there could have been more added to it to help tie up some loose ends with this new relationship. Perhaps Dre and his wife could have visited Reesie with Orlando to make it flow better?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.
For the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, this was a great tribute to people of New Orleans & it gives a wonderful timeline of the events to keep its memory alive.

Other Resources 

Facts for Kids 

Survivor Stories- 10 Years Later

More Books Like This One 

- Pamela



  1. I hadn't seen this book before you reviewed it, so I was glad to be introduced to it! Thanks!