Book View: Ninth Ward

Book View: Ninth WardNinth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on August 16th 2010
Pages: 217

Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. She doesn't have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya's visions show a powerful hurricane--Katrina--fast approaching, it's up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.

Ninth Ward is a deeply emotional story about transformation and a celebration of resilience, friendship, and family--as only love can define it.

Short & Sweet: Ninth Ward tells an amazing story of a girl who struggles through Hurricane Katrina. Lanesha is a character that has love in her life through Mama Ya-Ya, who helps her remain strong through being abnormal. She also is smart with math and finds that it will help her survive after the hurricane has passed. Lanesha's personality and perseverance makes her a wonderful character that the reader can admire. Ninth Ward would be a great introduction to the topic of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, giving the reader a firsthand view of how traumatic the storm was.

Final Verdict: Ninth Ward has many themes that can be explored, such as children living with guardians who are not family, the importance of friendship, and survival. This novel is definitely a must-have for any intermediate or middle school library.

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