“But you…are my sweetest gift. The life surprise that soothed all my ills and gave me my greatest joys. I feel so blessed you are mine.”

Ninth Ward is part of the Louisiana Girls Trilogy

Ninth Ward

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 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.

See pictures of the real Ninth Ward

Want to own an autographed copy of Ninth Ward? Order one straight from Jewell!

     

Videos

Ninth Ward and the students of Hahira Middle School

A Ninth Ward Book Report

Honors

Recognition and Accolades awarded to Ninth Ward

2013–2014
Indian Paintbrush Award, Nominee

Wyoming Library Association

2011-2012
The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award, Master List

Vermont Department of Libraries

2011
Notable Books for a Global Society

Children’s Literature & Reading Special Interest Group

2011
The Judy Lopez Memorial Award

The Judy Lopez Memorial Foundation

2011
Jane Addams Honor Book Award

Jane Addams Peace Association

2010
Best Fiction

School Library Journal

2010
Al Roker “Today Show” Book Club Selection

Al Rocker, Today Show

2010
Best Fiction for Middle Grade Readers, Finalist

Goodreads.com

2010
Parent’s Choice Foundation Gold Award

Parent’s Choice Foundation

2010
Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award

American Library Association

“An enjoyable, satisfying novel about the magical spirit of a young girl navigating her way through an American tragedy.”

Christopher Paul Curtis, Author

Praise

Words of praise for Ninth Ward from the press and authors

“If you are looking for a novel that lays blame about the devastation of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, this is not it. If you are interested in a novel that captures the essence of New Orleans and its people while simultaneously illustrating how tragedy makes us stronger, Ninth Ward is a must read.”
Tara Baldridge, 57th Street Books

“With a mix of magical and gritty realism, Rhodes’s (Voodoo Dreams) first novel for young readers imagines Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding through the eyes of resourceful 12-year-old Lanesha. Lanesha lives with Mama Ya-Ya, an 82-year-old seer and midwife who delivered Lanesha and has cared for her since her teenage mother died in childbirth…”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“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

“Another gem by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Two youngsters, friends forever, find a way to survive, to love, to begin again. Wow! What a legacy to pass along.”
Nikki Giovanni, Author

Author Reading

Audio recording of author Jewell Parker Rhodes

The Louisiana Girls Trilogy

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The Louisiana Girls Trilogy are stories of young girls coming of age and finding the strength to overcome adversity. They are steeped in the folklore of the deep south of America and are hugely popular with young readers.

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