Review: Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender

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Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child.
Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and 12-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.

I absolutely loved Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, so when I found that they also write middle grade I knew I wanted to pick one up. I’ve heard such good things about their other middle grade book King of the Dragonflies and this one was really enjoyable too!

Clocking in at just over 200 pages, this one was a super easy read and I flew threw it. With this one being a middle grade as well, I found it very easy to read – but don’t be fooled. This book does include some very important and deep topics, especially for a middle grade read.

The idea of not being alone — of having someone who sees me, same way I see the things that no one else can see, makes me feel like I’m real.

We follow Caroline, a 12 year old girl who was born in a hurricane. She lives in the small island of St Thomas, and her mother has disappeared. I really like how this book didn’t shy away from difficult topics and introduced them as part of the main plot. There are going to be so many children out there going through similar things to Caroline, and I think it’s so important we don’t keep stories from them, because it may make them feel less alone to see characters having similar experiences to them.

This book also included some discussions of sexuality, which I really loved. I feel like we definitely don’t see enough of these discussions in middle grade yet again, but it was portrayed in a really innocent way and I feel like it will be really accessible and relatable for young teens and tweens. We also see some discussions of sexuality in relation to religion, which I really liked.

Like I deserve to exist on this planet alongside everyone else. That I get to be here because there’s someone else who wants me here too.

Overall, this was a super enjoyable read and I loved how it didn’t shy away from the discussions it had. This book is quite short so I didn’t feel a really strong connection to the characters, but I did enjoy it a lot.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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