Children and Young People
Ninth Ward: Coming of Age and Hurricane Katrina12:00pm | Saturday 24 March 2012
|£N/A||1 Hour||Christ Church: Festival Room 2|
For age 8+
The devastation caused in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina forms the backdrop to Jewell Parker Rhodes’ multi-award-winning children’s novel Ninth Ward. Rhodes writes of Katrina’s impact on Ninth Ward, a poor community in New Orleans. She weaves African-American spirituality and magical realism into suspenseful drama and social critique.
Ninth Ward is a deeply emotional story about transformation and a celebration of resilience, friendship, and family. The story follows 12-year-old orphan Lanesha, abandoned by her ‘uptown family’ after her mother dies giving birth to her, and who is taken in by Mama Ya-Ya. Both Lanesha and Mama Ya-Ya have the gift of ‘sight’ and Mama Ya-Ya has a vision of a powerful hurricane approaching.
Ninth Ward is Rhodes’ first novel for young readers. Her adult books, including Voodoo Dreams and Douglass Women, have won awards such as the American Book Award and the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence.