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Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ninth Ward - Jewell Parker Rhodes

  The story "Ninth Ward" by Jewell Parker Rhodes is about a girl named Lanesha that was born with a caul on her face. She has the eye sight to see ghosts and spirits. Her mother died while she was giving birth to her. So a lady that helped birth Lanesha, her name is Mama Ya-Ya. She is a wise old woman that helps mothers birth their kids. She also sees things before they happen like the future. One day when Lanesha was turning 13, her and Mama Ya-Ya celebrated her birthday with just the two of them. They did her favorite things and made her favorite foods. It was a really great day. Everyday when Lanesha sees her mom, she always feels like that she is always there but she really wants her there like in human form instead of ghost. When she was a child she always talked to her mom's ghost and gets frustrated when she doesn't answer. But now she just talks to her for comfort. The next day at school, she just remembered how the students treat her. They fun of her because she is a black girl with nice brown skin with yellowish green eyes. They say that she looks like a witch because of her eyes. Other people at her school get fun of too. Like a boy named TaShon. He is shorter than the rest of the boys and some of the girls. He is always quiet, people think that he is shy and anti-social. While she was at school on her way home one of the most popular girls, Ginia. She really likes Lanesha because she has nice skin and eyes. They are somewhat friends but not close. As the days pass by Mama Ya-Ya gets spooked out because of her dream. Her dream tells her things before they actually happen in real life. So as she woke up, she warned Lanesha that a big strom was coming soon and that its a hurricane called Katrina. Lanesha felt calm but scared at the same time. She didn't know what to do. As she went to the store to get stuff for the hurricane (food, water, batteries, flashlights, etc.), people were looking at a big TV. On the big TV they were watching the news. On the news there was a newscaster on TV talking about the weather. He was telling people that hurricane Katrina was coming soon towards New Orleans, Louisiana, but at that moment it was on the Gulf. As the days goes by, Mama Ya-Ya gets more and more afraid and stressed because her dreams were warning her to be prepared because something big and dangerous was coming their way, but it wasn't telling her exactly what was going on. On one of the most hottest days of the week before the hurricane struck, as Lanesha was on her way home, three boys were ganging up on a boy. As she got over there, she realized that it was TaShon protecting a little puppy, looked like a German Shepard puppy. As the boys left, she checked on how TaShon was doing to see if he was okay.  After that was over, the puppy fell in love with both of them. So TaShon decided to name him Spot. But he knew that his mother wouldn't let him keep the dog, so he decided to ask Lanesha if she can keep him but they would share the dog. Even though she didn't want to do it she accepted his request.

As the storm gets closer and closer, Mama Ya-Ya gets more and more worried. As they look at the weather channel on the TV, the newscaster looks scared and is warning people in New Orleans to evacuate because hurricane Katrina was coming that evening. Mama Ya-Ya was more worried than ever. As the night was getting close, TaShon asked if Lanesha and Mama Ya-Ya was going to the super dome for shelter, but they were staying right there in their house. He told her to take care of everyone including the Spot. So as the night falls the hurricane takes place. Their house keeps shaking and shaking. Their roof almost comes off. As the storm passes, Lanesha and Mama Ya-Ya were all together protecting each other from falling objects in the house. As hurricane Katrina passed Lanesha doesn't feel like looking outside because of the storm the night before. So Spot needed to go outside so she just decided to fed up and take him outside. As she looked outside, she saw trees broken down, trash all over the place, buildings with roofs torn off. She couldn't bare to see her only neighborhood like it is. As she walks inside, TaShon comes running towards her and Spot. TaShon told her that the super dome's roof flew off and everyone started to run and get out of hand. So TaShon decided to run back home because he knows that his parents would come back to look for him. After he told Lanesha his story, she recognized that water was rising quickly and that they had to go inside quickly. Once they came back inside, Mama Ya-Ya told them to go to the attic and get plenty of food and water for them for the night. As Lanesha gets prepared, TaShon and Spot goes up to the attic while Mama Ya-Ya gives Lanesha something that was really important to her. She gives her a necklace that she has had since she can remember. She also told her that her time was almost up so she gave it to her for her to always remember her and that she can have her in her heart. As they walk up to the attic, the water enters the house and it is almost to the attic. As the water appeared in the attic, Mama Ya-Ya passed away. But as the water got into the room, Lanesha, TaShon and Spot makes their way towards the roof. As they get on the roof, Lanesha spots a boat and as they all get in the boat they are in the boat for at least two more days until they find help. And in the end Lanesha and TaShon became best friends.  

Belle Teal by Ann.M Martin

— feeling shocked
Belle Teale - Katherine Martin, Ann M. Martin

Belle Teal Harper lives with her mother and grandmother (a family of women) in the country outside her small town. Belle Teal and her best friend Clarice are looking forward to the start of fifth grade when they will have pretty, young Miss Casey as their teacher. But when school begins, Belle Teal has many challenges to face. One, her grandmother is having disturbing moments of confusion and lapses of memory. Two, her mother is starting secretarial school and working long hours to pay the bills. Three, Vanessa, a new girl in school, makes cruel comments about the Harpers' poverty. And the school itself is in the midst of a desegregation crisis. The time is 1962 and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on school desegregation is just beginning to take effect in this town. Three African American children enter the town's school on opening day; one of them is in Belle Teal's class. Parents line up at the school to shout and protest, the most vocal being the father of Belle Teal's friend, Little Boss. As the weeks go on, the protests disappear, but the resentment of many of the students remains. Belle Teal and Clarice make friends with Darryl, the new boy in their class, while others continue to harass him. Belle Teal comes up with a plan/a trick for the Halloween party to show other students that they can be friends with Darryl and that he is like any other person, but her scheme doesn't work. Eventually a crisis involving Little Boss and his arrogant father, Big Boss, brings the situation to a climax. Vanessa turns out to have a secret that, in part, explains her unpleasant behavior. Throughout the story Miss Casey provides a steady influence for all the students as she tries to keep a volatile situation in hand. But it is Belle Teal who proves to be the real star of this story — a young girl growing into the resilience and understanding she needs to deal with difficult situations in her family and community.



Paris Pan takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu

— feeling ghost
Paris Pan Takes the Dare - Cynthea Liu

  The book "Paris Pan takes the Dare" by Cynthea Liu is about a girl named Paris Pan who moves into a new town called "Sugar Lakes". On her first day in her new school, she met two girls named Mayo and Dana. Throughout the day Mayo tells Paris about her and Dana wanting to be friends with her. Also they were telling her about the upcoming basketball game because once you enter that school, you are automatically on their basketball team no matter what grade you are in. Anyway after the three girls become friends, Mayo starts to talk about her 13th birthday coming up and about this thing called "The Dare". She was telling her that this dare that every girl does on their 13th birthday. In 1986, a girl named Beth Colins died while doing this dare. Her spririt comes and haunts the person that does it. Once Paris learned about where she died, she realized that it was right where she lives on the hill! Once she told her friends Dana and Mayo, they decided to do "The Dare" at Paris house so that they can do the dare on Beth Colins's birthday. Once paris learned this, at night in her room she kept hearing these noises and voices, she also believes that she sees Beth Colins spirit! As the weeks get older she meets a boy named Tom and he is telling her to not do "The Dare" because a lot of people have either died or lost their voice. He was also telling her that if she does "The Dare" watch out for small porcelain dolls because they are all over her property grounds. Ever since she had talked to Tom, her dog has been acting up and ever since her dog got lost he kept finding a lot of small porclian dolls. As Paris tells Mayo and Dana what has been happening to her, they decide to go to the library to do more research. While they were at the library, Paris spotted a girl in their class named Robin. As Paris was about to go over and talk to her, Mayo warned her about talking to her, she was telling her that she was "The Freak of the School" and that she is always quiet. Paris wanted to talk to her so bad. No matter what Mayo did to disturb Robin, Paris always apologized for her actions and made her feel better. As Beth Colins's birthday gets closer, Paris and her friends decide to use a Ouija board to see if Beth would tell them where to go. After they messed with the Ouija board, Mayo and Dana believed and assumed that Paris can talk to the dead because of all of these things that keep happening to her. For example, all of the porclian dolls that Paris's dog has found, they have all gone missing and the shed that is on her property keeps opening and closing by itself and voices and noises keep coming from it! During the day of "The Dare" and Beth's birthday, they had their first game since her and her sister Verona has been at the school. Paris was hoping that she can get out of doing "The Dare" and she was hoping that the other team was big and buff so that they can make her "injury" on purpose, but as soon as they got on the court, she found that the other team was the fifth graders! So after the game ended the score was 48-8 and Paris made the winning shot! But after that the excitement died down it was time for "The Dare"! While they started their journey, Mayo, Dana and Paris started headng into the woods where she died. Since Mayo and Dana believed that Paris can communicate with the dead, they told her to lead the way. As they were going through the woods, Mayo finally realized that Paris can't communicate with the dead and that all of this was a fake. So while they were arguing, Paris spotted Beth Colins and her spirit! They started to run for their lives when Paris tripped over a log and twisted her ankle. When Dana tried to help her, Mayo pulled her and said "Leave her!" and after they left, the spirit was over top of Paris looking at her. While Paris was crying and shouting for help, she realized that it wasn't Beth Colins's spirit, it was Robin, the supposedly "Freak of the School". As Robin helped Paris back to her house to get some help, they met up with her sister Verona. As they caught up with her sister, Verona took care of Paris and told their Mom that her ankel is twisted and that they had to go to the doctors in the morning. When Paris returned to school with her crutches, she decided that she wasn't about to follow Mayo anymore, so she decided to join Robin where she was. Dana and Tom joined them and they became friends and left Mayo alone. After "The Dare" was over she decided to go into the shed and figure out what was going on. She finally discovered what all of this was about. There was a note and picture from Beth Colins. The note was talking about how she burried at least 5 million porcelain dolls all over the property because she hated the dolls and that she had a box of things in the shed for her history project. Once she learned that, Robin, Dana and Tom burried the stuff that was in the box, Beth's letter, Paris's materials, a picture of her and her friends and her own personal note to whomever was going to find the burried objects.


  I personally didn't know that this book was a thriller/scary book because I wouldn't have picked this book! But overall I really liked this book even though I dislike scary/thriller books. I liked the fact that they had some funny literature in it that I really enjoyed. One thing that I really liked about this book is that it let me use my imagination to picture what's happening in the book because in the other books that I have recently read didn't give me an image in my head about what's going on. I didn't have any dislikess about this book other than it making my heart race like crazy! But I would recommend this book to people that likes thriller, scary and suspense books.

Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun by: Gitty Daneshvari


  The book "Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun is written by Gitty Daneshvari is a book about three girls, that this story centers on the friendship of three Monster High students named: Venus Mcflytrap, Robecca Steam, and Rochelle Goyle. These best friends try to support the Gargoyle Code of Ethics. Monster High is like a regular high school except that it has monsters and scare fests. They are very excited to be invited to join the "Frightingale Society," which is an all-ghouls sorority dedicated to community service and fostering lifelong friendships among monsters. But when Robecca sees a white cat, the trio knows that the bad omen means something evil is about to happen. This series takes naming to the extreme with various plays on words. There's the expression "bat on a hot tin roof," "Fearleading" rather than cheerleading, "Scarisian" instead of Parisian, etc. Characters have names such as Miss Sue Nami and say things such as "Merci boo-coup" and "fangtastique." Students take Mad Science, G-ogre-phy, and Physical Deaducation and check their iCoffins for their class schedules.



  I liked this book because it was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a little younger. I also liked this book because i thought that it would be an interesting book to read. I liked this book because I wanted to see how the "monsters" would call things like we call things. Like how they call "bestfriends" "ghoulfriends" or like how they call "cafeteria" "creepateria".  Something that I didn't like about the book was how there were many conflicts throughout the book. Another thing that I didn't like about the book was that they  named everything in our world after monster like features. I would recomend this book to people that love monster high book series or cartoons to read the book. 


"Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny" by: Hill Harper and Gabrielle Union


  In the book "Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny" by Hill Harper and Gabrielle Union, is about Hill Harper sharing his own letters to a young sister named Gabrielle Union and in his letters, Hill Harper is giving her advice about her personal real life questions. During this time, Hill Harper was surprised by how many woman came to him and asking for advice. Throughout the book, Hill Harper brought a few wonderful and powerful black women to help him give advice to the young sister. There names were  Angela Bassett, Michelle Obama, Ruby Dee, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Nikki Giovanni, Sanaa Lathan, Bishop Noel Jones, Dr.S.Elizabeth Ford, Nia Long, Tatyana Ali, Lauren London, Cathy Hughes and a few others. But most importantly throughout the book he is listening and answering a lot of young women questions while he is on tour. Hill Harper is an attorney that turned into an actor throughout the years. Throughout the book, Hill Harper has a calm tone but also fun. Since he has worked with a lot of women, he personally thought that it would be fun and new to give advice to women.


  From reading "Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny" by Hill Harper has made me realize that I'm not the only one that goes through things and have questions to ask people that I trust. I didn't really like the book, I LOVED IT!! I loved this book because it answered all of my questions for me and his was basically giving me advice about mmy problems. I also liked how he brought other women that had expierenced the same thing to help him answer the questions that younger women are asking him. One thing that I didn't like about the book was that he was only talking and answering only one particualar females' questions and not a random number of women. While I was reading this book, I wanted to know why Hill Harper would write a book to young women to give them advice and to help them with their own problems when he has problems of his own? I would recommend this to younger females that doesn't have anyone to ask questions to, so that they can see that they aren't the only ones that goes through things.


         By: Marya-Montez