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by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Grades 5-8

Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orlean's Ninth Ward. She doesn’t have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya’s visions show a powerful hurricane -- Katrina -- fast approaching, it’s up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.

"The spare but vivid prose, lilting dialogue, and skilled storytelling brings this tragedy to life; the powerful sense of community Rhodes evokes in the Ninth Ward prior to the storm makes the devastation and the hardships Lanesha endures all the more powerful."
-Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
"Although the outcome of Hurricane Katrina is known, the clever writing allows the unavoidable tragedy to unfold in such a haunting and suspenseful manner that the extreme sense of foreboding and ultimate destruction is personalized and unforgettable. Heartbreak and hope are reflected in Lanesha’s story, which will capture even reluctant readers due to the inventive storytelling and the author’s ability to bring history to life."
 -School Library Journal (starred review)
"The dynamics of the diverse community enrich the survival story, and the contemporary struggle of one brave child humanizes the historic tragedy."

August Pick, Al Roker's Book Club, The Today Show

Gold Award, Parent's Choice Foundation


Jewell Parker Rhodes: Lanesha's Birthday Treats

Jewell Parker Rhodes's Website

Schedule a Chat with Jewell Parker Rhodes

Complete the entry form below by October 31, 2010 and you have a chance to win one free copy of Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Twenty-five winners will be chosen. Submit one entry per person. You must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States to enter.


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