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Ninth Ward Paperback – April 10, 2012
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From the Publisher
|Paradise on Fire||Black Brother, Black Brother||Ghost Boys||Towers Falling||Bayou Magic||Sugar|
|Discover more inspiring reads from Jewell Parker Rhodes!||A timely coming-of-age survival tale exploring issues of race, class, and climate change.||A powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black.||A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history.||A powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks in a classroom of students who cannot remember the event but live through the aftermath.||A magical coming-of-age story, rich with Southern folklore, friendship, family, fireflies and mermaids, plus an environmental twist.||A tale of a strong, spirited young girl who rises beyond her circumstances and inspires others to work toward a brighter future.|
"Jewell Parker Rhodes has written a powerful novel about family and survival in the face of tragedy and has created in her twelve-year-old narrator Lanesha, a true heroine. [She] shows a kind of bravery and big-heartedness that is a gift she passes along to her friend, her community and the readers of this luminous book."―Walter Mosley
"An absolutely exquisite children's debut by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Jewell's vivid writing brings the setting to life, in a story that is both timely and unforgettable."―Patricia Reilly Giff
"Lanesha is a miraculous candle of a girl: her flame burns steadier in hurricane winds, and glows brighter against dark flood-waters. Jewell Parker Rhodes's book shines with love."―Sara Pennypacker
"An enjoyable, satisfying novel about the magical spirit of a young girl navigating her way through an American tragedy."―Christopher Paul Curtis
"A girl with special powers awakens to the New Orleans around her in a story told with gritty poetry."―Richard Peck
"A beautiful, moving, personal story. Unforgettable. I loved it."―Justine Larbalestier
"Another gem by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Two youngsters, friends forever, find a way to survive, to love, to begin again. Wow! What a legacy to pass along."―Nikki Giovanni
About the Author
- Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 10, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316043087
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316043083
- Reading age : 10 years and up
- Lexile measure : HL470L
- Grade level : 5 and up
- Item Weight : 5.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.15 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #20,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I just completed Jewell Parker Rhodes' latest book--her first written for young
people. Its Title--Ninth Ward. Its Setting--New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
Its focus--Lanesha, a twelve year old born with a caul covering her head and
face, who is connected to the spiritual world and her Mama Ya Ya. Through a
child's eyes we watch a neighborhood in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans
experience the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, the surge of the Mississippi River as
the levees give way, the destruction of a rich vibrant community made up of
people who have so little, but share what they have with each other. This is a
story of love, courage and strength as the ancestors encourage two young
children to have faith in themselves if they want to survive. Jewell Parker
Rhodes says that she wanted to grow up enough to write her first book for young
people--she has more than made up for making us wait so long by penning this
magnificent story for youngsters and oldsters, one that I will share with many. A
If I was in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina I would have liked to be with Lanesha. She draws on everything she has learned from math to physics to cooking. Her love for Mama Ya-Ya and her feelings for her friend TaShon and their dog Spot would make anyone want to be on her team. The images of the New Orleans destruction are vivid and heart wrenching but still this book is a wonderful book for youngsters. Lanesha is a strong female character and I for one would love to hear more of her story.
Recommended for strong 3rd grade readers and above.
12 yr old Lanesha was born with a caul on her face. Thanks to this, Lanesha can see ghost including her mother, who died giving birth to her. Lanesha lives with Mama Ya- Ya in New Orleans, Ninth Ward. Mama Ya Ya is 82 yrs old, she's seen a lot and helped bring alot of babies into the world.
Mama Ya Ya senses the hurricane before its announced on the news. Mama Ya Ya knows something else is wrong, but she can't put her finger on what. Lanesha must prepare as best she can.
Tashon, the quiet neighbor boy, finds his way to MaMa Ya Ya's house after the hurricane. Together Lanesha and Tashon must survive the broken levies. When the water won't stop rising they end up on the top of the roof. Rhodes paints such a clear picture, I could see everything.
"I start trembling and look around my neighborhood. The horizon is none like I'd seen before. Just the tips of houses. Tops or halves of trees. Lampposts hacked off by water. Rooftops -some flat, some anglar most empty. Far left I see a man and a woman sitting on a roof their feet in the water."
Lanesha's abililty to see ghosts, adds a magical element to this story.
"Now, ghosts in baggy pants, their underwear showing, wearing short sleeve T-shirts and body tattoos, are from my time. They're mostly boys killed in drive-bys or fights or robberies. Sometimes, I know them from school. Like Jermaine. One day I'm seeing him in the cafeteria eating macaroni, the next day, he's a ghost, dull eyed, high fiving me."
Lanesha's mother's ghost can't move on, until Lanesha is safe. Though, Ninth Ward is only 207 pages, its never feels rushed. Rhodes tells a beautiful well paced story.
Many bestselling adult authors have a difficult time creating authenic middle grade voices, that was not the case here. Lanesha is smart, independent, excels at math and I loved her voice.
This is the first middle grade novel about hurricane Katrina. The ones that come behind it, will have a lot to live up to. Like Williams- Garcia's One Crazy Summer, the characters and writing felt familar. This doesn't happen often when I read middle grade fiction, when it does its refreshing. Ninth Ward is one of my favorite middle grade novels of the year.