Hurricane Katrina, 2005
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Born with a caul, 12-year-old Lanesha can see and sometimes communicate with spirits.Lanesha lives with Mama Ya-Ya, an 82-year-old seer and midwife who delivered Lanesha and has cared for her since her teenage mother died in childbirth .Because of 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 who feels like her “mother and grandmother both”.Lanesha is teased at school, 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. Mama Ya-Ya 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 decides to ride out the storm as many of the residents of New Orleans did. Lanesha prepares food, making sure to board up the windows and get bottled water and other provisions, since folks in New Orleans are sure that this storm will be like all the others. Mama Ya-Ya knows it will get bad, but she has no means to get Lanesha out of the city.
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