Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ninth Ward is a good book for younger readers who may not quite remember the aftermath of Katrina in the detail that older readers will.
The story is told by Lanesha, who is smart, strange and orphaned; Mama Ya-Ya, her grandmother, is raising her in the Ninth Ward because her Uptown family has (apparently) disowned her. Lanesha's good at math, but because she sees things (as does Mama Ya-Ya), other students don't want to know her.
That starts to change in the lead-up to the Hurricane, when TaShon asks (begs) her to care for Spot, his not-German Shepard puppy, and when Ginia offers to come shopping for supplies with her. This momentary happiness is, of course, cut short by the evacuation, the storm and the rupturing of the levees that came in Katrina's wake. TaShon, Mama Ya-Ya, Spot and Lanesha take refuge in the attic, but soon that's not enough - Mama Ya-Ya dies, and the three others escape onto the roof and finally via a rowboat.
The descriptions of life in the Ninth Ward are vivid, as are the emotions Lanesha has during the ten days the book covers.
ARC provided by publisher.
View all my reviews