I’m done with the 48 Hour Book Challenge, of course, but I’m determined to keep reading children’s books continually, and to blog about them here.
I finished Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes.
It’s on a list for volunteers to read for the Iowa Children’s Choice Award ballot for next year, so I had picked it up from the city library, and my 13-year-old daughter read it first. I asked her what she thought and she really liked it, but said it was “haunting.” I knew it must be about New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, so I knew it was likely sad, so I thought that was an interesting way to put it. It certainly was sad, but this is children’s literature, so it isn’t too sad. And if you’ve read the book, you know she was teasing me with the word haunting!
I thought the author did a great job of bringing in suspense into a subject that we know how it ends. When a family heads to the Superdome, I thought, “Oh no! Not there!” But thankfully, those aren’t the characters that the story follows. I don’t think what happened there could be written about in a children’s book.
I have this in the elementary library, but wonder when I would suggest this to a student. Doing reader’s advisory, if a child asks for a realistic fiction book that is about the saddest event in recent American history? Not much call for that! (Maybe I’ll sell it when students ask for “realistic fiction.”)
I’m not sure how I’ll vote on this for the ICCA list. It’s an important book, definitely. In a few years, maybe children will doubt that the travesties after Katrina really happened. But I guess to dispel that, we do need a book about what happened at the Superdome.