Callender, Kheryn. Hurricane Child. Fiction. Scholastic, 03/2018. 214pp. $17.99. 978-1-338-12930-4. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 5-8.
Hurricane Child portrays the complex and unique landscape of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the ever-relatable challenges of middle school bullies and a first crush. Despite being an outcast and grieving the loss of her runaway mother, Caroline proves to be a tough, emotional character with tremendous depth. Callender portrays the disparity of the new, manicured vacation condominiums with Caroline’s simple cinderblock house and the cruel way Caroline’s classmates ridicule her for her dark complexion while instantly befriending the one white girl at their school. Caroline’s pursuit for a friendship with new student Kalinda complements her dogged search for her mother. Caroline suffers an internal battle as she is followed by a spirit, deals with family secrets coming to light, and develops romantic feelings for Kalinda. Callender creates a feast of a rich setting, complex characters, passionate friendship, and beautiful prose.
Lolade Gbadebo, Oakland Public Library