Jean's Reviews > Ninth Ward

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
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Oct 10, 10

Read in October, 2010

The world watched the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the multitudes of people who were stranded and waiting for help. This is a different look at the hurricane and the people who lived in the Ninth Ward, the area of the city most affected by the flooding of the city. Lanesha has been raised by Mama Ya-Ya, the midwife who was present at her birth which also resulted in the death of her mother. Mama Ya-Ya tells Lanesha that she was born with a caul over her face and that she has the "sight" which gives her the ability to see into the spirit world. Lanesha grows up feeling the love of Mama Ya-Ya and the scorn of her classmates because she is different. Lanesha loves math and would like to build bridges when she grows up. But shortly after her 12th birthday her world turns dark as the hurricane approaches New Orleans and Mama Ya-Ya starts acting strange. This story focuses on those who could not evacuate in the face of the storm and who lost everything when the levees broke. It gives a human face to the tragedy. The ending seemed to come too fast, though. After pages of following Lanesha's struggles, the escape from the house and her rescue happens in only a few pages.
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