King and the Dragonflies (Hardcover)

By Kacen Callender

Scholastic Press, 9781338129335, 272pp.

Publication Date: February 4, 2020

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.



It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?"



But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death.



The Thing About Jellyfish meets The Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one's identity, from the author of Hurricane Child.



About the Author

Kacen Callender's debut novel, Hurricane Child, was the winner of the 2019 Stonewall Book Award and the 2019 Lambda Literary Award, as well as a Kirkus Best Book of 2018. Born and raised in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, they enjoy playing video games and watching anime and reality TV shows in their free time. Kacen currently lives and writes in Philadelphia.


Praise For King and the Dragonflies

Praise for Hurricane Child:


* "Writing in Caroline's present-tense voice, Callender draws readers in and makes them identify with Caroline's angst and sorrow and joy and pain. Embedding her appealing protagonist in a fully realized Caribbean setting, Callender has readers rooting for Caroline the whole way." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review



* "Lush descriptions bring the Caribbean environment to vivid life...An excellent and nuanced coming-of-age tale."-School Library Journal, starred review



* "Set against the richly evoked backdrop of the Caribbean, Callender's novel captures the exquisite agony and pain that accompanies 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.... Visceral, pensive, and memorable." -Booklist, starred review