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Hurricane Child

by Kheryn Callender

Published by Scholastic Press, 2018
214 pages
ISBN: 978-1-338-12930-4

Ages 10-13

Every morning Caroline Murphy hops on a speedboat and makes the short trip from her home on Water Island to her Catholic school on St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Caroline’s thick hair and skin “darker than even the paintings of African queens hanging in tourist shops” make her an easy target for bullies and contemptuous light-skinned teachers. Home isn’t much better: Her mother left Caroline and her father about a year ago, but the tenacious twelve-year-old is determined to find out what happened to her. When a new girl, Kalinda, transfers to Caroline’s school from Barbados, Caroline is immediately drawn to her and determined to make Kalinda her first friend—and possibly more. She suspects that Kalinda, like Caroline herself, can see spirits, and she enlists Kalinda’s help in communicating with them in the hopes that they will lead her to her mother. This emotionally complex novel thoughtfully explores the anguish that occurs when a mother’s survival comes at the cost of her daughter’s happiness. A vivid Caribbean setting and a tentatively hopeful ending will bring readers some relief on behalf of this determined and aching young girl. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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