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Extended Audio Sample Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,834 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes Narrator: Sisi Aisha Johnson Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. She doesn’t have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jewell Parker Rhodes has written a powerful novel about family and survival in the face of tragedy and has created in her twelve year-old narrator, Lanesha, a true heroine.” 

    Walter Mosley

  • “The dynamics of the diverse community enrich the survival story, and the contemporary struggle of one brave child humanizes the historic tragedy.”


  • “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

  • Recipient of a Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor in 2011

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Emily | 1/31/2014

    " I don't usually write a prose review, but this book warrants at least this. The language is gorgeous, and the story is well-crafted and can be appreciated by tweens and non-tweens. it takes an event that is still sad and charged for so many and gives it notes of hope. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nichole Hurst | 1/28/2014

    " The book recreates the before and after events surrounding Hurrican Katrina for a twelve year old black girl named Lanesha, who grows up in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans. After her mother's death, Lanesha is cared for a woman who helped birth her- Mama Yaya, who is considered a healer and midwife. Abandoned by Lanesha's uptown family, Mama Yaya didn't hesitate to take the girl in. Unfortunatley, Lanesha is bullied at school and made fun of for her green eyes, despite loving math and being a smart girl. Lanesha and Mama Yaya both have mystical powers, as Lanesha is able to see ghosts and Mama Yaya is psyhic and can see the future. Yaya dreams of a storm that is followed by blackness, which is Hurricane Katrina. With no money to evacuate, Lanesha has to take on the responsibility of survival for the two of them. This is when Lanesha's character fully develops, and we see her become a strong reslilent young woman. Rhodes further develops the plot at this point with Mama Yaya's health failing, the water continuing to rise, and the chaos that took place after this horrible event. This book uses clean languange and could be used in an upper elementart classroom, but I would target it at middle school students. This is a book that I would have in my classroom library, but one that I would use to teach about New Orleans and Hurrican Katrina, mystical themes, and stong family relationships. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by 3samantha | 1/26/2014

    " I loved the book. It was very interesting and sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Malen | 1/19/2014

    " Good book ever!! "

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