Ninth Ward. Jewell Parker Rhodes. 2010. August 2010. Little, Brown. 217 pages.
They say I was born with a caul, a skin netting covering my face like a glove. My mother died birthing me. I would've died, too, if Mama Ya-Ya hadn't sliced the bloody membrane from my face. I let out a wail when she parted the caul, letting in first air, first light.
Ninth Ward is a story of hope, love, endurance, and survival. Just a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Lanesha, our young heroine, turns twelve. While she is beloved by her grandmother--Mama Ya-Ya--Lanesha does not have many friends her own age. They've heard there is something different about her. That she can see the dead. Lanesha tries to make the best of it. Not that it is easy. But she tries. For they do speak the truth. Lanesha can see ghosts--her mother's ghost remains behind.
Ninth Ward is an emotional coming-of-age novel about family and friendship, about life and death, love and loss. It's a strong novel--one I won't be forgetting. It's a novel that I would definitely recommend!
Other reviews: A Patchwork of Books, Welcome to My Tweendom, Rasco from RIF, HappyNappyBookseller, Books Together.
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