Claudia's Reviews > Ninth Ward

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
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Dec 03, 10

bookshelves: ya-books
Read on December 03, 2010

I loved Rhodes's assertion that she had to write a lot for adults before she took the risk of writing for youngsters. I think too often adult writers are trying to make a fast buck on young readers and they don't truly respect their audience.

Rhodes has invented a beautiful strong girl in Lanesha...born in a caul, able to see ghosts, and shunned by many because of her individuality. Raised by Mama Ya Ya, not even a blood relative, Lanesha finds a way to survive not only the Hurricane Katrina storm, but the horrifying flooding after the storm.

This book is at points funny, frightening, and uplifting. It is unutterably sad as we watch Lanesha lose more and more of her life. The use of present tense verbs throughout adds to the horror, in my mind. We KNOW what's going to happen. We know the storm is not the worst of the devestation...so we know she's not safe. Her beloved Mama Ya Ya, who has the sight, knows, but cannot tell Lanesha without breaking the child's spirit, a spirit she's cultivated from her birth.

I have loved everything I have read by Jewell Parker Rhodes, this book included. This little gem is a new favorite.
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Reading Progress

12/03/2010 page 42
26.0% "I'm impressed that Rhodes says she's worked and written for years in preparation for writing YA!"

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