NINTH WARD by Jewell Parker Rhodes

NINTH WARD

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Born with a caul, 12-year-old Lanesha can see and sometimes communicate with spirits, and her guardian, former midwife Mama Ya-Ya, has dreams and visions that foretell the future. Their exquisitely happy, though poor, life in the New Orleans Ninth Ward is disrupted by news of a powerful storm approaching. Mama Ya-Ya knows it will get bad, but she has no means to get Lanesha out of the city. Knowing she herself will soon die, Mama Ya-Ya decides to wager that  Lanesha’s talents, both her supernatural skills and her more commonplace pluck and creativity, will see the young girl and her friend TaShon through Hurricane Katrina safely. The two children must confront not only the intense storm and Mama Ya-Ya’s death but rapidly rising flood waters to survive. Rhodes’s characters are likable and her story gripping. Unfortunately, though, romanticized depictions such as this one threaten to undermine our collective sense of the true plight of pre- and post-Katrina Ninth Ward residents. A good title for discussion when balanced with historical accounts of Katrina and her aftermath. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-316-04307-6
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2010




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenI SURVIVED HURRICANE KATRINA, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis
by Lauren Tarshis
ChildrenA GIRL CALLED PROBLEM by Katie Quirk
by Katie Quirk
ChildrenZANE AND THE HURRICANE by Rodman Philbrick
by Rodman Philbrick