Friday, February 4, 2011
Book Review: Ninth Ward
by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book 2011
You know those books that stick with you long after you are done reading them? Well this is one of those. The author does a great job of character development, especially with the main character Lanesha. I find myself wondering what happened to her after the story ended and what she would be like as an adult. Lanesha does not know who her father is and her mother died giving birth to her. Her mother's upper class family does not want anything to do with her. Therefore, she is raised by the midwife who helped deliver her, Mama Ya-Ya. The reader will come to love Mama Ya-Ya as much as Lanesha does. We see Lanesha struggle to make friends and to fit in at school. She is her own unique person. Mama Ya-Ya sees things and can sense things and Lanesha can see ghosts. They live in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans during the time of Hurricane Katrina. This is the only children's book that I am aware of that shows the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Mama Ya-Ya senses the hurricane coming, but does not think that will be the problem. She dreams that they survive the hurricane but that something much worse happens after. Will Lanesha and Mama Ya-Ya evacuate their home like others in their neighborhood? Will they survive the massive and devastating hurricane? Will Lanesha'a new friends survive the hurricane? We all know what happened after Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans. How will this effect Lanesha, Mama Ya-Ya and their friends? What will Lanesha learn about herself? To answer these many questions, you must read this fabulous novel!
The book's website Here you can read more about the novel, listen to an interview with the author, see pictures of Hurricane Katrina's damage, download an Educator's guide to teaching about the novel, schedule a visit from the author, and see many more resources about Hurricane Katrina and the Ninth Ward. You can also find information on how you can donate to help the people effected by Hurricane Katrina.
The author's website Here you can find many of the same types of items as above. You can also read about how the author came to write this novel.