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Happy 4th, everyone! This month's reading selection is:

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Sometime before the end of the month, please try to read this book and post a review of it either here, or on your personal blog/LJ/DW/other website and link to it here in the comments.

It seems we are down to 4 active members, which is kind of a problem for voting-- if we're down to 2 books with 2 votes each, we've got an unbreakable tie. So if any of you have friends you think might be interested in participating in the book club, please invite them to join! (I know there's always the chance of a tie when there's an even number, but it seems less likely the more of us there are, or at least easier to have a tie-breaker XD)

Who wants to pick the choices for next month?

Posted via

Date: 2012-07-05 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd love to pick for August!

Date: 2012-07-21 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ninth Ward was a very good book. It was a good story yet it would have been better had the person who wrote it had lived in the city and knew more about it. It seems like the only thing she know about the city was what she heard on the tv during the coverage of the storm.

Problems that I had with the book:

Hurricane Katrina happen in 2005 and Lanesha said she knew a boy named Jermaine that was shot in front of a 7-Eleven buying soda only problem is they haven't had any 7-Eleven in New Orleans since the 80's maybe early 90's but she would have been to young to remember them if she was twelve. Had she used Time Saver which was more of a staple in New Orleans it would have been more accurate.

This is a picture of the Ninth Ward:

Image (

In the lower right hand corner of the picture is my old high school that had been there for over 150 years. Most of the house in the ninth ward were shot gun houses which were single story houses. I think they had some two story houses there but not many. I don't see how Mama Ya-Ya would have been able to live in a two story house with how poor they said she was. Plus the steeps leading up into the attic would have been a pulled down kind from the ceiling. They wouldn't have had a door leading up to a flight of stairs to lead to the attic if she lived in a shotgun house.

Shotgun house:

Image (

Another thing that bothered me was how they kept talking about the Golden Gate Bridge in California. In New Orleans schools you learned about New Orleans and if the teacher was going to brag about a bridge it would have been the causeway that is the worlds longest bridge over water which is 23.83 miles long.

Also there is no Martin Luther King Bridge overpass in New Orleans. South Claiborne Avenue crosses over Martin Luther King Jr Blvd after you pass the Superdome that is no where near the Ninth Ward.

The last big problem I had with the book was TaShon getting back to the Ninth Ward after the storm from the Superdome. That wouldn't have happen. Half the city was under water from other levees that had failed.

Other then the stuff I know about New Orleans from living in it all my life that the author didn't know I really enjoyed the book. I really felt that the relationship between Mama Ya-ya and Lanesha was very good and I liked how they added the thing that Lanesha could see the ghost.

Over all i would give Ninth Ward a 4 out of 5 rating.

Date: 2012-07-22 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Video the day after Katrina:

Another Katrina video:

A drive through the Ninth Ward and Lakeview:

Six Flags in New Orleans East after Katrina:

Levee break 17th street canal:

Edited Date: 2012-07-23 01:56 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-21 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm so glad the Book Club chose it, I don't know if I would have found it otherwise.

I loved the pace of the book. I loved the way that they thought and talked and the way things were described. I loved how the book was written. It reminds me so much of a few other books, like The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales. They have the same pace.

I also really loved how Lanesha did her best not to care about what others thought. And although she cared a little, she didn't really let it get to her. I really liked how Mama Ya-Ya had made her feel that she was loved and that no one could tell her otherwise.

I loved the storyline with Spot. I love storylines with dogs in books, and this one was so sweet. How TaShon was saving him, how Spot tried to bark back, how he was such a sweet, good dog and they took care of him no matter what.

Mama Ya-Ya herself was such a good character. The way she loved Lanesha was wonderful.

What I really wish to know is what happened afterwards. Lanesha's family from Uptown was mentioned here and there so I thought something else would be mentioned, but I suppose it falls in line that they should not be mentioned anymore. I suppose that it was a way of showing that, in the end, it didn't matter that they didn't come, because Lanesha had what she needed.

I also want to know what happened with TaShon's parents, with Ginia, with Miss Johnson. I want to know where Lanesha will live now and what will happen to her. But I always want to know that with books (especially with the previously read Toads and Diamonds.

The description of the wait for the hurricane and the winds and water rising quickly made me nervous as I read. I can't imagine what I would do were that to happen. I looked up images of the water afterwards.

All in all I think the book had a wonderful, beautiful message and the pacing was really lovely.

Date: 2012-07-22 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My review is posted (

Date: 2012-07-23 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Reason why TaShon would have never gotten back to the Ninth Ward after the storm from the Superdome.

Image (

I know for the post I've put up it seems like I'm bashing the book. I'm not I really enjoyed the book a lot but living though Katrina I know what happen to the city I grew up in and I'm just posting stuff showing how things happen. This is a very emotional book to read (there are a few places that I started to cry from what happen in the story and remembering what happen). The pain and suffering the people who lived here went through is the reason this story was written and I'm glad for it. People need to remember what happen to this great city. The lives that were lost and how after seven years after the storm some places mostly the Lower Ninth Ward still looks like it did the day the water went down.


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