Wednesday, February 22, 2012

African American Read In (Ninth Ward)

I am hosting this Read In with two other bloggers, Edi from Crazy Quilts. and Vasilly from 1330v. This year’s read-in book is The Ninth Ward by Jewell Park Rhodes. My interview with the author. Readers are welcome to join at anytime.

Ninth Ward is 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. Ninth Ward was also a 2010 middle grade fantasy Cybils finalists and a 2011 Coretta Scott King honor.

My first question is strange but here it is anyway. Many times when I read novels, I find myself moved by its rhythms and tempo that I associate with a particular genre of music. That being said what genre of music does Ninth Ward bring to mind? (Sometimes it helps to visual it)

The setting of New Orleans could be considered a character in its own right. How well do you think the author developed this central piece of Ninth Ward? If there anything you would've changed or wanted more of?

Vasilly had some great questions on Monday and be sure to check out Edi's questions on Friday.

I've linked this post to the Black History Month Hop


Charlotte said...

I didn't have a mental image of the Ninth Ward before Katrina...and afterwards, all one saw were pictures of roofs. I loved how the pre-Katrina neighborhood came alive in all its business!

I don't think I've ever heard music in my head (unles the text specifically mentions it) while I read, so I can't answer the first question!

Joy Weese Moll said...

I hadn't thought about it, but it did kind of have the feeling of music to it. How about a mash up of two Basin Street Blues versions -- Louis Armstrong and Kid Koala?

I've never been beyond the touristy areas of New Orleans, but I loved the sense of neighborhood and the sense of living in a southern climate that I got from the beginning parts of this book.

Vasilly said...

I love the closeness readers see while reading this book. Lanesha knows everyone on her block and they know her. Neighbors checked in on one another before and during the storm. After the book, it left me wondering how everyone fared.

Music? I don't know though I do think of really dramatic movie music with violins when it comes to the part that the storm hits and things are getting frantic.

Charlotte said...

I'm now, thanks to your violins, Vasilly, trying to imagine the movie soundtrack...with the blues and jazz taking an ominous turn.

I think it would make an excellent movie.

Doret said...

The author did a wonderful job creating a community. I don't hear music but I sometimes picture what type of music a novel would be.

Ninth Ward would be a jazz quartet with serious harmony

I had to Youtube Kid Koala, but I am all for mash ups.

I hadn't thought of violins before but I could see that and I love the visual

Tanya Patrice said...

I don't usually think about music when I'm reading, but immediately after reading your question, I thought jazz for sure! Soft & mellow, but changing to big & loud from the hurricane scene onwards.

Anonymous said...

New Orleans always makes me think of Blues and Jazz, but I'm not sure Ninth Ward brought to mind any particular music for me. I'll have to think on that a bit.

I think Rhodes did a good job describing the Ninth Ward for children. If it had been an adult book, I know there would have been more detail, but for children, she definitely did enough. My daughter loved the descriptions of the houses and their bright colors... she loved that Lanesha's house was peach-colored.

Ms. Edith Campbell said...

LOL I started a great comment and decided to formulate it as my question for tomorrow!!

Music... Oh, I have to think of Harry Connick Jr. and Wynton Marsalis because those talented musicians have become the post-Katrina voice of Nawlins. Check out this video for "Bourbon Street Parade"
Isn't Lanesha in that video?!
And, I can't help but think about the jazz funeral parades that march through the streets of Nawlins when someone dies.

Joy Weese Moll said...

Love that video, Edi! I'm sure I got a glimpse of Lanesha in there!