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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Nola Gals by Barbara J. Rebbeck is the story of two girls who are very different from each other, but they have a great influence on each other's lives. Essence LaFontaine lives with her mother, grandmother, and her younger sister Chardonnai in New Orleans. Things are not perfect, but they are good enough. Her grandmother loves them, but she is too stubborn for her own good. When all of their neighbors are planning their evacuation because of the Hurricane Katrina threat, her grandmother decides to stay behind. Essence and her little sister are rescued and taken to safety with the other victims, one of whom might be Essence's father.
Grace Woodson does not like school. When she is suspended from her school, she is taken to the refugee camp with her father and there she finds the will to write and she connects with these people. She starts to read her English class assignment, To Kill a Mockingbird, to the people in the camp. When Essence joins her school, things become very interesting. So very interesting that you will have to read it to find out more.
If there ever was a novel with a great moral behind it, it is Nola Gals. What I really love about this novel is that you cannot put it into an age group. It can be read by anyone belonging to any age group. I love it when a novel is this diverse. There is a strength behind these girls, an inner force that made them the center of attention. A great novel that should be available to everyone!