Hurricane child

Kheryn Callender

Book - 2018

Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl--and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother.

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Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* One year and three months have passed since Caroline's mother left her behind on Water Island, adjacent to Saint Thomas. Did she desert her because she doesn't love her, or is it possible that the strange spirit Caroline keeps seeing, the woman in black, is involved in her disappearance? Caroline finds a true friend in Kalinda, a rare new girl who arrives on the island from Barbados, though for Caroline, their connection runs deeper than mere friendship. But it's not only that Kalinda can see the spirits, too—it's everything about Kalinda, and soon Caroline harbors an all-consuming crush . . . or could it be love? Caroline and Kalinda's quest leads to stunning revelations that shatter Caroline's conception of her mother. Set against the richly evoked backdrop of the Caribbean, Callender's novel captures the exquisite agony and pain that accompany rejection and abandonment. Caroline's search for answers provides a steady through line for the story, but it's the deeper questioning and reflection that set this book apart. Whether Caroline is contemplating the way religion is invoked to address same-sex attraction or the possibility of multiple realities existing alongside one another, the inner workings of her mind pay homage to the complexity of being 12. Callender's debut enriches the growing body of LGBTQ fiction for upper-elementary- and middle-school students. Visceral, pensive, and memorable. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Twelve-year-old Caroline Murphy was born during a hurricane, which is considered a curse in her home of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and she's convinced that she's the recipient of bad luck. Caroline's mother left her alone with her father more than a year ago, sending occasional postcards that slowly dwindled to nothing; Caroline is bullied at school for her darker skin; and she begins to see a spirit dressed in black and wonders whether it means help or harm. When Kalinda arrives from Barbados, she strikes Caroline as a true individual, someone who can help her on her quest to find her mother, and things begin to look up. Then Caroline's admiration of Kalinda becomes romantic love, which is not well received in her community, and she must face her feelings on all fronts. Callender's debut novel contains absorbing descriptions of the island ("The paint gets big bubbles whenever it rains so that I can pick and pick and pick at them until they burst") and is a folkloric tale about overcoming old narratives and creating new ones. Ages 8–12. (Mar.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old Caroline and her father live on Water Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Caroline, known as a "Hurricane Child," since she was born during a hurricane, is plagued with bad luck. She sees a spirit—the woman in black—that no one else can see. She is bullied daily at school by both children and her teachers who make cruel remarks about her dark skin tone. Her feelings of loneliness are compounded by the fact that her mother left and never returned. When a new student from Barbados named Kalinda joins her class, Caroline is drawn to Kalinda's confidence and disinterest in befriending the bullies. The two girls soon become close friends. Caroline realizes her feelings for Kalinda are more than platonic and when she expresses them to Kalinda, they are unfortunately met with resistance. Nevertheless, Kalinda agrees to help Caroline find her mother in the midst of a terrible storm. By the end, the protagonist is able to feel more at peace with herself, her family, and her complex relationship with Kalinda. The novel moves at a substantial pace and contains intermittent flashbacks. Told solely from Caroline's perspective, readers get an in-depth understanding of her experiences and feelings. Lush descriptions bring the Caribbean environment to vivid life. VERDICT An excellent and nuanced coming-of-age tale with a dash of magical realism for readers who enjoy character-driven novels, especially those with middle grade LGBTQ+ characterizations.—Jess Gafkowitz, Brooklyn Public Library Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl--and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Prepare to be swept up by this exquisite novel that reminds us that grief and love can open the world in mystical ways.Winner of the Stonewall Book Award!Winner of the Lambda Literary Award!Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child.Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She's hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won't stop following her, and -- worst of all -- Caroline's mother left home one day and never came back.But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline's luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline's first and only friend -- and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush.Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother -- before Caroline loses her forever.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Prepare to be swept up by this exquisite novel that reminds us that grief and love can open the world in mystical ways.