Lori Peek’s Hurricane Katrina book named Colorado Book Awards finalist

As appearing in SOURCE

In March the Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book announced that Children of Katrina, a book co-authored by Colorado State University faculty member Lori Peek, has been named one of three finalists in the Colorado Book Awards for general nonfiction.

Peek, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, and Alice Fothergill, who holds the same title at the University of Vermont, co-wrote the book about how youth responded to Hurricane Katrina.

They present a rare, seven-year study of how young people fare after disaster as documented through stories and analyses of shifts in their health and well-being, family life, housing situations and school contexts. It was published by the University of Texas Press in August of 2015 as part of the “Katrina Bookshelf.” The series was conceived by distinguished sociologist and series editor Kai Erikson in honor of the 10th anniversary of the storm.

Raising awareness

Children of Katrina book cover. “Alice and I are so honored that Children of Katrina has been named a finalist for this award,” Peek said. “We hope that recognition of the book will help bring recognition to the challenges that the youngest survivors of disaster may face.”

“Lori and I share this incredible honor with the children who shared their stories with us and made the book possible,” Fothergill said. “It is our hope that the book will help us learn from their experiences and reduce the suffering of children in future disasters.”

The other two finalists in the general nonfiction category of the Colorado Book Awards are The Republic of Conscience by former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart and Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman, a Wall Street Journal Book of the Year and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

“When we found out who the other two authors are of the other two books in our category, we were really humbled to be in such esteemed company,” Peek said. “Regardless of who they select for the final award, it means a lot to us to be included in the final round.” The winner of the award will be announced in May.

Book reading in Denver

Lori Peek
Lori Peek

A book reading with Peek and other finalists took place on April 22 at the BookBar in Denver.

“I was really looking forward to the reading in Denver,” Peek said. “Any time there is a public gathering where people come together to share a love for books and learning seems like a great opportunity to me!”

The Colorado Book Awards are given annually and are sponsored by Outskirts Press and First Western Trust Bank. The awards recognize contributions by Colorado authors, editors, illustrators, and photographers in 15 different categories. Dozens of volunteer selectors read the nominated entries.

About Colorado Humanities

Colorado Humanities is a 41-year-old nonprofit affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution and the national award-winning educational nonprofit Motheread, Inc. The only Colorado organization exclusively dedicated to supporting humanities education for adults and children statewide, Colorado Humanities works with 300 local program partners throughout the state to design and implement educational programs that best meet each community’s needs.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book,” Fothergill said. “These organizations encourage all of us to explore ideas and to try to understand the human experience.”


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