In Puerto Rico, a little boy and his village experience the drama and destruction of a hurricane
Sergio lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico. San Juan is usually sunny and peaceful, but one day the sky grows dark and the ocean gets choppy. A hurricane is coming, and Sergio and his family must prepare for the storm. Through the experiences of one little boy, readers will learn about hurricanes and the damage they can do.
|Publisher:||Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)|
|File size:||6 MB|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Alexandra Wallner has written and illustrated a number of books about famous literary and historical figures, including An Alcott Family Christmas and Beatrix Potter. She lives in Maine with her husband, illustrator John Wallner.
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Sergio and the Hurricane
By Alexandra Wallner
Henry Holt and CompanyCopyright © 2000 Alexandra Wallner
All rights reserved.
Sergio lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with his mama, papa, dog Peanut, and cat Misu in a cottage across the street from the ocean.
Every morning he sat on the beach with Peanut, watching the bright windsurfing boats sail on the turquoise water. But today the ocean was dark green, and the waves were too big and choppy for small boats.
"A storm must be coming," Sergio said, scratching Peanut's ear.
He walked to the small park down the street. Usually the park was full of people, but today there was no one. The air was hot. Sergio had just taken a shower, but already his skin felt sticky with sweat.
He bought an ice-cream cone at his friend Raffi's refreshment stand.
"Hurricane weather," Raffi said, frowning. "The TV says a huge storm is coming our way."
"I hope you're right!" Sergio said. He was too young to remember the last big hurricane that had hit San Juan, so he was excited.
"A hurricane is a very serious thing," said Raffi, still frowning.
Sergio ran home.
"Mama! Mama!" he cried. "Raffi says a hurricane is coming!"
"Yes, Sergio," said Mama. "I know. Hurry, we must go to the supermarket to get some supplies before the hurricane comes."
The supermarket was crowded. Sergio and Mama were not the only ones preparing for the hurricane.
As they drove home, they saw people boarding up windows with sheets of plywood or crisscrossing masking tape over them.
"Why are they doing that?" Sergio asked.
"To keep the glass from shattering and hurting people," Mama explained.
Hurricane reports blared from car radios.
It's so exciting! Sergio thought.
When they got home, Papa was putting metal shutters over the windows.
"Papa! Papa!" Sergio cried, jumping up and down. "Do you think it will be a big hurricane?"
"A hurricane is a very serious thing," Papa said. "After you help Mama with the groceries, I will need your help outside."
Papa and Sergio put the outdoor furniture in the garage. Then Sergio watched Papa cut the coconuts off the palm trees in the yard. A high wind could throw the furniture and coconuts through the windows.
By the time everything was done, it was late afternoon. As Sergio and his parents ate dinner, rain began to drum on the roof. Sergio peeked through a crack in the shutters. Sand from the beach sliced across the road. Waves as tall as hills slammed the cement seawall across the street.
After the excitement of the day, Sergio was very tired. He fell asleep listening to the wind howl.
Sometime later, Sergio woke suddenly. The howling wind was rattling the shutters like it wanted to break in.
Sergio saw a candle burning on his dresser. The electricity must have gone out! He felt afraid all by himself, so he went into his parents' room and snuggled into bed with them.
They listened to the battery-powered radio. "Wind is gusting up to 170 miles per hour," a voice crackled. "Utility poles are snapping like matchsticks. Electricity is out all over San Juan and the east coast. Please, everyone, stay indoors until the hurricane is over!"
The hurricane was wild and noisy. It wasn't as much fun as Sergio had thought it was going to be.
"I'm scared," Sergio admitted, so Papa told him a story.
"The last time there was a really big hurricane like this was when your grandmother was young. She lived on a farm. The wind blew so hard that it scared the cow, who knocked over an oil lamp. The straw caught fire, but grandmother used some big cans of milk to put it out just in time to save the barn."
Papa's voice was warm and comforting, and Sergio fell asleep. When he woke up it was late morning. Peanut and Misu were still in bed with him, but his parents were gone.
"Mama, Papa, where are you?" he called, running to the kitchen.
"Hush, dear," Mama said, putting her arms around him. "The hurricane is over. Let's go outside to see what happened."
The sun was shining and the ocean was calm, almost as if there had never been a hurricane. But there was a lot of damage. Flying sand had blasted the pink paint off the front of the cottage. The palm trees had knocked some tiles off the roof.
Sergio's family would have to do a lot of work, but not as much as the neighbors. Old Mr. Gonzalez's banyan tree, which was older than Mr. Gonzalez himself, had uprooted and crashed into his house.
Excerpted from Sergio and the Hurricane by Alexandra Wallner. Copyright © 2000 Alexandra Wallner. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Facts About Hurricanes,
About the Author,