I thought this book effectively accomplished its goal: it showed a small cross-section of the horrors of life in and out of New Orleans right after Katrina. I think it's less important at this time than it will be in the future, when it can serve as a reminder long after the news footage has been forgotten.
That said, oh, wow, the use of color was atrocious. The illustrations are done in a single color at a time, and the colors alternate every few pages. At first I assumed each character had their own color to keep the 5 different plot lines easily distinguishable, but I was mistaken. The colors are unnecessarily garish and intense, and I felt like the artist was trying to give an adrenaline punch where none was needed.
The character development is fairly minimal in most cases, but the contrast between the different characters and their social stations is great enough that it almost does the job on its own. Of course, the characters are simply there to illustrate the tragedy of Katrina: the danger, the fear, the misery, the waiting.
While the book never directly makes accusations against the Bush administration or any government arm, it still features dialogue slanted in that direction that made the author's views of the situation pretty clear. I wish he had just come out and made it more obvious, because it comes off as clumsy as is.
Recommend to: 14+, general audience, anyone you think needs inspiration to buy flood insurance/flotation devices.
Don't recommend to: The migraine-prone - Those colors! Ouch!