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Read This! Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

by: 
Briana, Evergreen Library

Orleans starts with an intriguing question: what if Hurricane Katrina was only the beginning?

In this futuristic sci-fi story, the 2005 storm is followed by a series of increasingly devastating hurricanes. Living conditions become horrific for those who choose to stay on the Gulf Coast, and by 2025 the outbreak of a deadly plague called Delta Fever prompts the U.S. government to quarantine the entire region. Fast forward a few more decades, and the survivors in Orleans live in tribes according to blood type - a characteristic more important than any other, as blood type dictates one's susceptibility to Delta Fever.

When 15 year-old Fen's tribal leader, Lydia, dies just after giving birth, Fen commits herself to honoring Lydia's wish that her child make it to the Outer States - the place beyond the wall that separates Orleans from the U.S. Along the way she meets Daniel, a young scientist who illegally crossed the wall and believes he can find a cure to Delta Fever.

Orleans is told through alternating viewpoints, and though Fen's native dialect is tricky at first, it does not detract from the power of the story. This is a fast-paced adventure with compelling themes - climate change, racism, and human survival.