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Readers weigh in on Samantha Perez's Hurricane Journal

* Oh Lord, I can't stop crying. If I ever meet this young lady, you can bet I am going to buy her a pink dress and make sure she feels like the queen of the world. Samantha, you keep writing. It will be your gift to the world and maybe even your own salvation. God Bless you, honey.

*Samantha's journal really touched my heart.

* You are the bravest girl I would ever imagine.

* Beautifully document. Thanks for the compassionate story. Reminds me of Anne Frank. 

* That's amazing for somebody to write under those circumstances.

* wonderfully written and simply heartbreaking

* After I finished the last entry dated September 6th, I kept thinking, is she okay? Does she like school now? Is she feeling at home? Are her grandparents okay? Does her dad have a job? I went to sleep thinking of her and had a dream that she was swimming through flood waters to get back to her home in St Bernard. I hope she is okay.

 * I read the diary with pain in my heart.

* Truly excellent writing. For a teenager or anybody else. I expect great things from this writer.

* That is one heck of a diary (Samantha's). I hope she keeps on writing; I'll try to catch up with it daily.

*Keep writing!!  ....You are the treasure your family took with  ....rings and phones and even such special dresses can be replaced but you can't!!    ....our hearts go out to you!! in Idaho

*Great job and I look forward to more fantastic work in the future!

* That story touched my heart.  It could of just as easily been me.  I write to you from the Houma area.  We also fled for Hurricane Katrina.  Terrebonne Parish was spared the worse.  3 days without power and tons of trees down, but no real damage or flooding.  I am so sorry about your loss.  Keep on writing.  You are a really good writer and seem so mature for your age.  You will make a great journalist someday. 

*That's a wonderful writer! I hope everyone will support and encourage her to continue her calling!

*It's just so sad. Another layer of tragedy from this hurricane. ....She's a great writer and it's a very moving account of her experience. I hope she finds her way and gets her dreams back.

*She is a great writer!

*Don't give up hope, Sammy. It's a precious commodity. You might be able to go to college one day. In the meantime, supporting your family and friends is the best thing you can do. You are an awesome writer and I know you'll be able to make something of yourself.

* I read and absorbed every inch of this girl's thoughts. She’s strong. Proud. And I totally understand how alone she feels… helping everyone, but yet has no one to turn to for her own needs. I wanted her to know, she’s not alone… she just has to reach out. Like she did unknowingly here. I would like to give her father a huge hug for being smart enough to take care of his family and evacuating them to safety. I have already listed an ad on Craigslist for free housing in Providence , Rhode Island … as the thought of all those families and girls like Sammy wondering where they’re going... how they’ll eat. Sleep. Live.  I felt compelled to help. So with that, I would like this little girl they call Sammy to know if her and her family need a place, or if she has friends that would like to come to Rhode Island … I would take them in. Let her know this.

* You have a lot of talent! Don't give up on your future. I have a feeling you will be successful no matter what happens.

* You are such a brave young woman with alot to offer this world. You certainly have a flair with the pen,so keep up the good work. Your story has touched many hearts and I know you have been in my thoughts since I have read these journal entries. Please keep writing so I can follow you on your road to recovery. Keep strong my dear and know that someone in Canada is praying for you and your family.

*I  just read your journal, and wanted to let you know how impressed I am with the quality of your writing.  You have a real gift, and I encourage you to keep writing, no matter what.  Your writer's "voice" comes through loud and clear; no small feat for any writer, let alone a 17-year-old. 

*This young lady really touched my heart.

Your sadness over losing your dress is not selfish.  In the end, I think this really symbolizes the loss of normalcy in all of your lives... the little things that mean a lot. Your life has been reduced to the essentials right now, but this too shall pass.  You've got to believe that.  

You will never forget this experience.  It will shape the rest of your life, and certainly become a springboard for the work that you do in the future. Keep writing.  Even if you don't have a computer right now, use a notebook and continue to record your thoughts and experiences.  Don't give up, no matter what.  These notes and journals could easily become your first book - a memoir from the perspective of a teenager whose losses are no less important. 

Know that people from all over the world are reading your stuff, and sending good thoughts and encouragement. Peace and Blessings to you and your family.

* I suspect that we will be reading your stories for years to come. Keep the faith and stay strong. retty dresses are easy to come by. The love and support of a family are easily lost and can never be replaced. Your story of having to leave your home and being stranded are heart wrenching. I hope you and your family are well and that in time you will once again be able to go home.

* that kid can write powerful and realistic....she put me right there with her story...

* You are such an amazing writer and I hope that you keep writing even though you've lost so much (including your stories and poems) to such a crappy situation.  You said that you feel like you don't really have anyone you can talk to--that's why writing is perfect.  You will make it through. Your entries really touched me and my thoughts are with you.  I am sure that your parish and the rest of the areas that have been devastated will rebuild and survive.

* I have read every word. Her creativity and her spirit – which Katrina can never take away from her – remind me of myself at that age when I was editor of my high school yearbook, a regular contributor to our local paper and headed to college to major in .. what else .. journalism.

* Are you following her story? Great writer, but what happened to her grandparents that refused to leave?

* This young woman can really write. She's already there. And she'll only get better.

* Takes you right to the heart of it so sad.

* I have just finished reading your online journal. I can hardly find the words to tell you how impressed I am.  You have so much talent, and more than that, so much strength. You keep on writing. You will only get better, and I can hardly wait to read your stories. I know we don't have a clue what you and your family and thousands of your friends and neighbors are feeling, but your words give us a little insight. We pray for you, we hurt with you, and we encourage you to keep on climbing up, till you have overcome this awful thing that has happened. I hope someday to meet you, and if that happens, I am going to buy you any dress you like and make sure you know that you are a princess in my eyes.  

* Wonderful. Bookmarked so I can finish reading her diary, I hope she finishes it.

* Sammy's journal is great..........although i am 70 years old.....i can still appreciate a teen's mixed feelings.....especially in circumstances like Hurricane Katrina. i suspect Miss Perez will have a bright future in journalism.

* Your excerpts were very moving. Thank you for sharing.

* She has so much talent. Oprah would love her!

* My family would just like to tell you how brave you have been in the face of this horrible disaster. You're writings make it very real for us, and our hearts ache for you and your family. It's amazing that you are giving so much of yourself, and touching so many people with your work, when you have suffered such loss.


I*  just wish I could come hug this brave girl and her family. My prayers are with them all!

Read Samantha Perez's

Hurricane Journal

Comment on Sammy's journal

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