What Stands in a Storm, by Kim Cross, a true story of three days in the lives of those affected by one of the nation’s worst superstorms, is the One Book-One Community selection for 2017-18, according to the organization’s executive committee.
In the book, Kim weaves together heart-wrenching stories of death and survival during the biggest tornado outbreak in recorded history, which occurred in April, 2011 in the southern U.S. On April 27, 349 tornadoes ripped through twenty-one states in three days, killing at least 324 people, erasing entire neighborhoods, and leaving $11 billion in damage. The biggest of the tornadoes left scars across the land so wide they could be seen from space.
Kim concentrates on the stories of several characters to create a nail-biting chronicle in the Tornado Alley of America—Alabama, where there are more tornado fatalities than anywhere in the US due to the trees and hills that obscure the storms until they’re bearing down upon you. Her dramatic storytelling sets you right in the middle of the very worst hit areas of Alabama, where thousands of ordinary people witnessed the sky falling around them. Among the stories of heartbreak, a key message emerges: in tragic times, what tears us apart helps reveal what holds us together.