Hurricane Harvey Updates & Book Donations

I'd So Rather Be Reading has been on standby for the last 4 weeks. Many of our readers might not know that we are located in Southeast Texas and were just ravished by Hurricane Harvey. I would like to thank those that sent sweet emails of concern and were so understanding of all the postponed reviews and cancellations that I had to make.

I host this blog from Vidor, Texas, a tiny Texas town two hours South of Houston. When Hurricane Harvey was flooding Houston we were so worried for all our Houstonians. But what we didn't know was that just 48 hours later there would be massive flooding all along the Gulf Coast. Our town was one of the many that sunk.

To put it into perspective, Houston is a massive city and received about 52 inches of water.  We are a town of 14,000 with one main highway, we also received 52 inches of water and massive flooding. There are a lot of towns/cities with similar stories and I deeply feel for every single person affected by this storm. Every story is unique and special. We wish all affected by natural disasters around the globe love, hope and recovery. May each of you receive what you stand in need of and then a little more.

This is our story & update to our readers. 

Me (Nat) & Maryn did not flood. Here is a little nugget of information, we are neighbors!

We are lucky in that very few streets did not overflow into homes but we have a retention ditch nearby and it saved us by literal inches! I was a floating island for 36 hours and I dared anyone to drive by and cause a wake! At one point I had fish swimming around my mailbox! Cool and a little freaky all at the same time. My family & I have been on a recovery crew since the storm and I cry once a day, it's so overwhelming but so rewarding to serve my community. This was yesterday's house pre-muck*.

This home received an estimated 15 ft of water.
Ms. Leger had the water rise to her sandbags but she did not flood!
She was stranded and without power for 7 days until she was rescued by The Diesel Brothers! That is a story for another day when she has a chance to catch her breathe. I'm told her grandson's were very upset they missed out on the experience as they are huge fans. :)

Her school (and Macy Kate's) was not so lucky. The school flooded and lost its entire library and Ms. Leger lost her classroom. Her classroom has been adopted and her supplies replaced but not her books. Here is a picture I took after we "muck'ed" her classroom. The mask can't begin to convey the smell of that water logged school.

Macy Kate 
Gosh. Macy Kate has had it the worst. Her neighborhood was a total loss, I estimate 240 homes in her community alone. She went through a water rescue, the loss of her home and then the sad reality of not being able to go home. Initially I was just going to write an update but after talking with her mom I decided a vlog told by her would be best.

I had over 25 video clips while making this vlog. Before we started Macy told me she didn't want to cry on video. I told her I understood and that if she did, we just wouldn't use that footage. Macy is a lot like me, we don't like to cry.

When I started asking questions Macy had a lot to say within the privacy of her battered home. It was really emotional for the both of us and we did cry a little. The mom in me just couldn't hold it in. Ultimately I handed her the camera and opened my sun roof and just let her talk and record as we toured her neighborhood. She just talked and talked and talked through that footage. I think it was just cathartic for her, no pressure and no audience. The comment in the video that really struck a chord with me was this,
"All my friends are really talkative like me and even me I'm counting, we're just not that talkative anymore. We're really quiet now and everything, we just got hit so hard and everything... kind of put our life to a halt. We have to roll with the punches I guess."
She is in good spirits and her family is resilient! She is back in school and her family is actually living with mine until her home is rebuilt! It is a party 'errday and Macy Kate & her siblings have fit right into the mob squad! Her mom is actually worried that they will not want to leave. That's how I like my house, the vortex of fun.


If you would like to donate books to Macy Kate you can mail them to the address below:

I'd So Rather Be Reading
c/o Macy Kate
 5950 Portie Rd
Vidor, TX 77662

If you would like to donate books to Ms. Leger's classroom library here is the information for her scholastic account and a quick list of books that she feels will be sorely missed. You can also mail them to the address above and I will deliver them to her.

Scholastic Book Club >>Click Here<<

Ms. Leger's class code: HWQ6M

If you don't have an account, click on the PARENTS "Get Started" tab shown below to set up an account.

All books ordered through Scholastic will be delivered directly to her temporary classroom.

Quick Wish List:
  • For the Classroom
    • How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
    • How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
  • Standalone:
    • Wonder by RJ Palacio
    • Crenshaw by Catherine Applegate
    • Wish by Barbara O'Connor
    • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Series
    • Goosebumps by RL Stine
    • Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey
    • The Nocturnals by Tracey Hecht
    • I Survived by Lauren Tarshis
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
    • Ravens Pass by Steve Brezenoff
    • Shadow Children by Margaret Patterson Haddix
    • Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
    • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
    • The Infinity Ring by James Dashner & Carrie Ryan
    • Animorphs by KA Applegate & Michael Grant
    • The 39 Clues series
    • Jason Strange series
All middle grade books welcome! If you have a favorite and would like to recommend and donate it, send it down! Any duplicates will be given to students.

XOXOXOXO to all our Readers! You rock!

*What is "mucking" a house?
"the dirty, sweaty work of removing ruined carpet, ripping up floorboards, getting rid of drywall and mud" courtesy of a quick google search

Basically, it's like mucking a horse stall but worse. You are literally shoveling peoples lives into wheelbarrows and dumping them into large trash piles. Once the house is emptied of contents, you have to begin demo on the inside structure. In our type of crisis we gut to the studs and then begins the dry-out process.

Funny note, before taking most pictures it is very common to say "MUCK" instead of "cheese" right now. :)

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