Angel: A novel by Zoe Daniel

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Through my eyes: Natural disaster zones series, Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760113773
(Ages: 10-14) Recommended. Themes: Natural disasters. Typhoons. Author Zoe Daniel has worked for many years as the ABC's South East Asia correspondent reporting on the devastation of wars and the aftermath of natural disasters. In Angel: A novel she has written from her first-hand knowledge of the devastating effects of super Typhoon Haiyan which struck Tacloban in the Philippines in 2013. She realistically portrays the plight of Angel's family and friends, the measures some people are forced into in their search for food and water and the resilience of others willing to provide aid and shelter.
Angel's thirteenth birthday is special, her mother and father give her a special pearl necklace, a talisman that will help her through the most difficult of circumstances. She lives along the sea wall in a simple house with her fisherman father, mother and younger twin brothers. Their livelihood depends on the seas and Angel enjoys helping her father catch the fish. As the family listen to the weather forecasts, they are unaware of just how dangerous the next typhoon will be. The magnitude of water, the depth of destruction, loss of homes, shops, separation of families is unbelievable. Angel stays with her father whilst her mother and the boys travel to Samar to help their elderly grandparents.
Angel struggles to survive as the typhoon hits; she clings to a pole with their old neighbour Mrs Reyes and helps her find shelter with her friend's family. The sights, smells, destruction and people's fight to survive are eye-opening. The problems caused when aid, food and water is delayed is unbelievable. Angel's determination to find her family and seek medical aid for her ill neighbour shows her toughness and inner strength.
The Through my eyes: Natural disaster zones series showcases the courage of children faced with almost impossible situations. Zoe Daniel's novel is suitable for confident readers who enjoy realistic fiction. Angel: A novel is suited to Year 5 and 6 classes studying Geography and Environmental Science researching the cause, effects and characteristics of extreme weather conditions.
Rhyllis Bignell