by Kacen Callender
Winner of the 2019 Stonewall Book and the 2019 Lambda Literary Awards.
"My mom never told me what it means to be a Hurricane Child. But I heard what it means when the old women from down the road come by... That it's a curse, being born during a hurricane. I won't have an inch of luck for the rest of my days, and sadness will follow me wherever I go. Well I step on that curse and spit on it too. I don't need the world's luck to live."
Born during a storm, followed by a spirit, feeling abandoned at every turn, 12-year-old Caroline thinks that her world can be fixed if she can just find her mum. And with the arrival of new girl, Kalinda, she has a partner to join her on her quest. But who is the woman in black? And why does she now want, more than anything, to just hold Kalinda's hand?
An exquisite coming of age novella set in St Thomas (one of the US Virgin Islands). We applaud and weep for Caroline as she quivers on the brink of discovering her sexuality, as she comes up against school bullying over her skin colour (darker than her peers) and the homophobic prejudice perpetuated by the (largely Catholic) wider community, as she learns to let go of a mother who needed to cast herself off and as she deals with her feelings for Kalinda. Gorgeous, 'literary' middle grade, shot through with magical realism.
'Fabulously written tale that evokes the islands and culture. Great storytelling of love, loss, belonging and trauma. Covers so many emotions while stirring emotions and questions' (Meryl, Consultant & Trainer, Letterbox Library reviewer).
[Author identifies as Black, queer and trans]. Age 9-12, Paperback 210pp