"Ninth Ward" is a hauntingly beautiful book. Lanesha is a 12 year-old girl raised by the mid-wife who helped birth her as her mom died shortly after she was born. The first part of the book describes the love and affection between Mama Ya-Ya and and lets us know that between Mama Ya-Ya's educating Lanesha and school Lanesha is a very smart girl. Lanesha sees ghosts (including her mother) and Mama Ya-Ya sees and feels things gives the book a sort of mystical quality. The rest of the book deals with getting prepared for Hurricane Katrina and how Lanesha manages to survive the horrific storm.
If I was in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina I would have liked to be with Lanesha. She draws on everything she has learned from math to physics to cooking. Her love for Mama Ya-Ya and her feelings for her friend TaShon and their dog Spot would make anyone want to be on her team. The images of the New Orleans destruction are vivid and heart wrenching but still this book is a wonderful book for youngsters. Lanesha is a strong female character and I for one would love to hear more of her story.
Recommended for strong 3rd grade readers and above.