Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Release Date: March 15, 2016
In 2007, an EF5 tornado ripped through Greensburg, Kansas, destroying the 95% of the town. The residents wanted to rebuild, but they decided that they didn't want to make the town exactly how it used to be, they wanted it to be better. This new town would be able to withstand another tornado, but it would also be built in an environmentally sustainable way. Greensburg is now often described as the "greenest" town in America.
Told from the perspective of a child, this was a good nonfiction tale of one town standing up to adversity and not just making the best of it, but making it better. The illustrations were cute, but I am not entirely sure if an illustrated picture was the best format for this type of a story. Firstly, because I really wanted to see real pictures of real people. The cartoon illustrations took away from the immediacy of the tragedy. I was disappointed that there wasn't even a picture of the rebuilt town in the back matter. Never mind that I really wanted a lot more information. There was some basic information throughout the text and in the back matter, but I don't feel like I got the full picture of what a completely sustainable community actually looks like. On the one hand, this limited information did lead me on a fact finding mission on the Internet, but since not every reader is going to do this, it would be nice if all the needed information was already in place. Again, I thought the book was good, but for the age of children that would be reading it, there needed to be more information befitting a book for upper elementary students.