Welcome to today’s read-in. I’m one of three bloggers co-hosting this event along with Doret from The Happy Nappy Bookseller and Edi from Crazy Quilts. This year’s read-in book is The Ninth Ward by Jewell Park Rhodes. It’s the story of a young girl living in New Orleans right before Hurricane Katrina. Since the book’s publication in 2010, it’s been nominated and listed as a best book by several organizations including Goodreads, School Library Journal, and 2011-2012 The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award.
Instead of discussing the book just one day, Doret, Edi, and I decided to discuss The Ninth Ward all week long and give readers a chance to still read it if they didn’t have time before. Wednesday’s discussion questions will be on Doret’s blog and Friday’s questions on Edi’s.
From the book:
They say I was born with a caul, a skin netting covering my face like a glove. My mother died birthing me. I would’ve died, too, if Mama Ya-Ya hadn’t sliced the bloody membrane from my face. I let out a wail when she parted the caul, letting in first air, first light.
Here are my questions for you:
- The Ninth Ward is one of the newest additions to the magic realism genre. As you read Lanesha’s story, how did you feel about the fantastical elements such as Mama Ya-Ya’s visions or the ghosts that lingered throughout the neighborhood?
- This was the first book I’ve read that dealt with Hurricane Katrina and some of the issues surrounding it like Mama Ya-Ya and Lanesha being too poor to evacuate before the storm. Have you read a book that dealt with this hurricane before? Whether or not you have, how did the storm’s role in the book feel to you? Could you imagine it and its aftermath as you were reading or was it vague?
- Last but not least, what did you think of Lanesha?