About The Book

A hurricane is on the way. Will Kenny and Allison's tree house be one of its victims?

by Rachelle Burk, illustrated by Rex Schneider
This children's book is about surviving a hurricane, and deals with loss, hope, and resiliency after a natural disaster. Two children build a tree house where they play and imagine all summer long. But then Hurricane Betsy blows into New Orleans in 1965, and their beloved tree house becomes one of its victims.

This fiction story of loss, hope, and resiliency was inspired by actual events during the author's childhood growing up in New Orleans. It
explores universal themes of natural disaster and rebuilding. In the classroom, this book serves as an effective discussion tool. A free Teacher's Guide and book-related activities are available through a link on this site.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey hurricane relief.

Tree House in a Storm is available through various online stores. See links below on right!   Signed copies can be purchased directly through the author: Rachelleburk@gmail.com.

Restrained and Timeless Child's Eye View, July 30, 2009
By L. Mccarthy "Careful Reader" (half moon bay, ca United States)
Rachelle Burk takes us into the treetops without ever going over the top. This lyrical book evokes the magic of secret forts and lazy summer days while at the same time taking on childhood fear and natural disaster in a non-threatening way. This transgenerational tale beautifully depicts the tenuous balance between dreams and disaster -- and the tenacious human spirit that dwells in both. The illustrations perfectly capture the spirit of a very specific time and place -- New Orleans in the 1960's. But the resiliency depicted in the story is timeless, as any Hurricane Katrina survivor can attest.
Captivating story, August 1, 2009
By L. Crittenden "writer & reader" (San Francisco, CA) - Who can't relate to a child's need to create a special place of his or her own? Kenny, the boy in this story, is lucky enough to have a generous tree in his back yard, a sister to join him in his treetop kingdom, and a mother who sends lunch up on a pulley. Rachelle Burk has a special gift for understanding children's fears - the monsters - without giving into them. And when disaster does strike in the form of a hurricane, Kenny copes with a supportive family and a long-term plan. This book comforts with its vision of generational stability and resilience of spirit.

An Unforgettable Story!, August 5, 2009
By Greg Budig "Author & Illustrator" (St. Cloud, MN) -
Tree House in a Storm, written by first time author Rachelle Burk and illustrated by Rex Schneider, is a masterful blend of classic story telling and compelling artwork. The story of Kenny and Allison's tree house will remind you of the joys of being young, of being filled with imagination and wonderment...and unfortunately the feeling of loss for something you love. Rachelle Burk's words beautifully lead you through this heartwarming tale, complimented by Rex Schneider's wonderfully dramatic and slyly whimsical illustrations (Hidden frogs anyone?). All in all, this is not just a story of childhood loss, but a story of the universal promise of hope.

5.0 out of 5 stars Will be a helpful tool for children to explain how natural disasters can be endured and survived, October 19, 2009
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) -
  "Tree House in a Storm" is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and will be a helpful tool for children to explain how natural disasters can be endured and survived.

5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful story that brings hope to many people!, September 9, 2009
This is a wonderful story about two children who build a tree house and play in it. But this is no ordinary tree house, it is a place where the imagination flows and dreams come true. Then one day, a hurricane hits and takes out the tree house. With hope, the children plant a new tree and what evolves years later is a new tree and an opportunity for the now grown children to build another tree house to share with their children. This story was warm and yet heart wrenching. The story is based off of experiences the author had in hurricanes Betsy and Katrina. Rachelle did a fantastic job creating a story that can appeal to many people in different ways and can touch their hearts. It is a wonderful tale filled with hope, resiliency and courage. When people pull together it is amazing what can be done. I think children can learn a lot from this story. When a catastrophe happens it is easy to fall apart, but with the help of neighbors, family and friends, it is easier to put the pieces of life back together again and move on to a better future. And though we can never forget the past, because it is so much a part of us and who we are, it does make us stronger. With hope there is nothing that can't be created or rebuilt, and love strengthens the bonds of friendship and family, pulling us together in a show of unity.

Attention: Elementary Guidance Counselors/Therapists,
November 20, 2009
As a school counselor, I am always on the lookout for new books to read in the classrooms. This book is perfect for starting discussions in classrooms and small groups or when counseling a student individually. It covers the concepts of "not your fault" and "it will get better". There are inspiring messages of recovery, renewal and tradition. I highly recommend "Tree House in a Storm" for any situations where a child's security has been shaken.

" I read it to my first graders this past week and I wanted to tell you how much you touched their souls. Many of them were affected my Hurricane Sandy and were able to make personal connections. I will be visiting your website to also provide some extended activities. Thank you so much for sharing your book with us now, when we all need to have hope. " ~Claire Pish, Teacher, Piscataway, NJ   (Dec. 2012)

"After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, many students were upset when they finally returned to school after a 9 day absence. We were asked as the staff to be sensitive and share resources with them to help calm their fears. I was immediately reminded of [Tree House in a Storm] and knew it was the best resource we could share with our students. I just wanted you to know what a very special book this is and how glad I am that it was available to our students at this time. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and this very special book dedicated to 'survivors of natural disasters worldwide.' It was perfect! Sincerely, Laurie Fernandez" ~ Media Specialist, East Brunswick, NJ  (Dec. 2012)