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Gr 5-8–Communicating with ghosts, including the spirit of her mother who died giving birth to her, is a gift that Lanesha, 12, has had for as long as she can remember. The girl's beloved caretaker, Mama Ya-Ya, a midwife and healer, has a gift that allows her to predict the future. When she begins to sense that a big storm is coming to their much-loved New Orleans neighborhood, both she and Lanesha must trust in their senses and in one another to survive. Lanesha is a wonderful character who exudes resilience and fortitude in the face of a catastrophe as well as a personal vulnerability in terms of her status as an orphan and an outsider. Words, numbers, and colors as seen through her eyes show the magic and wonder that exist in everyday things. The unique writing style even allows the unlikely combination of elderly Mama Ya-Ya's heady scents of Vicks Vapor Rub and Evening in Paris perfume to seem wonderful and inviting. Although the outcome of Hurricane Katrina is known, the clever writing allows the unavoidable tragedy to unfold in such a haunting and suspenseful manner that the extreme sense of foreboding and ultimate destruction is personalized and unforgettable. 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.Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina is the setting for this tense novel that blends the drama of the catastrophic storm with magic realism. Twelve-year-old Lanesha’s teenage mother died while giving birth to her, and, because her mother’s wealthy uptown family won’t have anything to do with her, she is raised in the Ninth Ward by loving Mama Ya-Ya, 82, who feels like her “mother and grandmother both.” Born with a caul over her eyes, Lanesha is teased at school, but she is strengthened by her fierce caretaker’s devotion and by a teacher who inspires Lanesha to become an engineer and build bridges. Lanesha also has “second sight,” which includes an ability to see her mother’s ghost. As the storm nears and the call comes for mandatory evacuation, Mama Ya-Ya envisions that she will not survive, but Lanesha escapes the rising water in a small rowboat and even rescues others along the way. The dynamics of the diverse community enrich the survival story, and the contemporary struggle of one brave child humanizes the historic tragedy. Grades 5-8. --Hazel Rochman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
very good book. my granddaughter read it for her summer reading choice.Published 11 days ago by Linda P. Harris
Great look at things beyond our control! Excellent story telling.Published 1 month ago by Patricia Malar Gray Sanders
Great book! It was a kid-friendly way to talk about Hurricane Katrina, overcoming adversity, persevering, making friends, and cultural differences. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Krista Davidson
💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟💟really nice. Talks about hurricane Katrina. Can't put the book down! Teaches good lessons. Read it. Read it. Read it!!!!!!Published 3 months ago by Shelley Engelkins
I loved this book. It got sad at times but never let you down with a dull moment. I Recommend this book for ages 10 &upPublished 8 months ago by hello.
This novel is truly an inspiring piece of work. A fast read but not easily forgotten. I definitely recommend this book for all ages.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is inspirational. I will share it with my grand daughter because it speaks of hope, endurance and the human spirit.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Being a teacher, I read a lot of children's literature to see if it can be used to teach an objective or if it is appropriate for the classroom library. Read morePublished 14 months ago by GlttrGuitarAngel