SOCIAL SCIENCES

This Is Chance! The Shaking of an All-American City, a Voice That Held It Together

Random. Mar. 2020. 336p. photos. notes. ISBN 9780525509912. $28. SOC SCI
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In 1964, Alaska was a new state and ambitious to prove its worth. Anchorage was transitioning to becoming a sizable city, and was looking forward to its future when disaster struck in the form of a 9.2 earthquake on Good Friday, leading to destroyed infrastructure, impassable streets, and missing people. There was no modern disaster management. There was however, the radio; and an ambitious reporter, Genie Chance, who relayed message after message, helping to organize the initial recovery process. Mooallem (Wild Ones) chooses to focus exclusively on the people of Anchorage during the first three days after the earthquake. This is a story about how communities pulled together in the face of extreme adversity; while several people described throughout were also pivotal to the disaster relief and recovery process, Mooallem uses Genie Chance as the anchor and heart of the story.
VERDICT A great crossover read for teens as well as adults about community, tenacity, and the power of one person to make a difference.

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