Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Kheryn Callender
Twelve-year-old Caroline was born on a small island in the Caribbean in the middle of a hurricane, which is said to be unlucky. This has been too true for Caroline. She has always been bullied and abused at school, and one day, her mom leaves the house and doesn’t come back. Caroline is left alone, without the only person who ever loved her. One day, a girl named Kalinda shows up at school. Kalinda recently moved from Barbados and has a glow about her. Kalinda and Caroline become instant friends, and Caroline finds herself finally connecting someone. When Caroline finds a picture that leads her to where her mom may be, Caroline and Kalinda set out to find Caroline’s mom, and maybe Caroline herself in the meantime.
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender is a beautifully written book that perfectly captures the troubles of a young girl in middle school. The main character has a strong voice, and her portrayal is very accurate to the emotions and feelings of an adolescent girl. This book contains much diversity, as the book takes place in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands and has an African-American main character. Caroline is also lesbian and falls in love with Kalinda. This book may not be recommended for an elementary school classroom because of the subjects of abuse, bullying, abandonment, and same-sex attraction. It also could be sensitive to some, as it talks about Caroline’s verbal abuse from her fellow classmates, and the verbal and physical abuse from her teacher.
*Contains mild violence and mild sexual content.