Book Review: Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Title: Ninth Ward
Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes
Pages: 217
Cybil Book #33
Author Site

From the website

Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleanes’ 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.
Ninth Ward is a celebration of resilience, love, family, and friendship, and a deeply emotional story of transformation.

My Thoughts

I probably would never have picked this book to read off my TBR pile of not for the love it has been receiving. Not only have some of the people I know working with Cybils been loving this book, but it is a book that is receiving a lot of attention and being nominated for a variety of lists as one of the best of year.
The reason that I would not have chosen the book on my own is for the cover. It just does not appeal to me personally. However, upon completing the book the cover makes perfect sense and I get it.

This is a book that just tells a story of a young girl and her caretaker named Mama Ya-Ya. I was drawn into this story from the start. I am not sure why I was sucked in, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I could just visualize all these scenarios that were probably just like this story in real life when Hurricane Katrina hit. It never really clicked in my head that there are people who really did not have any other options or family to resort to during this time. You watch the coverage on TV and it just looked like chaos. I cannot even imagine the true chaos of actually being there.

This really is a beautiful story. I read this book in one day. Even though I pretty much knew how everything was going to end up I just had to read to see how things would end up. Besides the cover I cannot really find any other faults.

This book had one line that stood out to me that I keep thinking about. It was a question and I just love it.

Go check out the book and in the meantime think about this question and post your answer.

What is it that makes laughter feel so good?

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