Hurricane Season (Hardcover)
Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616209063, 288pp.
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Fig, a sixth grader, wants more than anything to see the world as her father does. The once-renowned pianist, who hasn’t composed a song in years and has unpredictable good and bad days, is something of a mystery to Fig. Though she’s a science and math nerd, she tries taking an art class just to be closer to him, to experience life the way an artist does. But then Fig’s dad shows up at school, disoriented and desperately searching for Fig. Not only has the class not brought Fig closer to understanding him, it has brought social services to their door.
Diving into books about Van Gogh to understand the madness of artists, calling on her best friend for advice, and turning to a new neighbor for support, Fig continues to try everything she can think of to understand her father, to save him from himself, and to find space in her life to discover who she is even as the walls are falling down around her.
Nicole Melleby’s Hurricane Season is a stunning novel about a girl struggling to be a kid as pressing adult concerns weigh on her. It’s also about taking risks and facing danger, about love and art, and about coming of age and coming out. And more than anything else, it is a story of the healing power of love—and the limits of that power.
About the Author
Praise For Hurricane Season…
“Melleby’s debut offers a tender, earnest portrait of a daughter searching for constancy while negotiating her father’s sickness and the social challenges of tween girlhood, including her first crush on a girl.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Father and daughter find their way back to each other in this moving novel, and readers will root for Fig every step of the way.”
“Melleby doesn't shy away from how terrifying it is to watch someone in a dangerously manic state, but the narrative never tips into melodrama. A thoughtful portrayal of mental illness with queer content that avoids coming-out clichés.”
“Fig’s story will engage middle grade readers who enjoy thoughtful novels that address complex topics. It may even inspire them to seek out the works of van Gogh.”
—School Library Journal, starred review
“Fig Arnold is an original and irresistible heroine in a story full of hope, art, and love.”
—R. J. Palacio, author of Wonder
“Melleby’s debut examines the complexities of having a parent with a mental illness and the responsibilities that kids sometimes must shoulder. Themes of trust and LGBTQ romance are incorporated into this weighty but hopeful story.”
“Melleby’s debut novel includes two coming-out stories—Fig has a crush on an older girl—but integrates these elements naturally into its main story of the father-daughter relationship, as each struggles with how much to share with the other and when. Details involving art and science (STEM-oriented Fig tries to relate to her musician father and draws connections between his condition and Vincent van Gogh’s) lend specificity and keep the plotlines centering on LGBTQ+ identities and bipolar disorder from feeling overly formulaic.”
—The Horn Book
“This debut novel—about taking risks and facing danger, about love and art, and about growing up and coming out—will make its way straight into your heart . . . stunning . . . I found it hard to put down.”
—Confessions of a YA Reader
“Hurricane Season is a powerful middle grade novel that deals with some really important issues . . . Fig is beautifully crafted and real, and readers will whole-heartedly fall in love with her.”
—YA Books Central
“A warm, vivid, and resonant story of the child that resides in every guardian, and the guardian in every child. An important debut.”
—Eliot Schrefer, New York Times Bestselling Author of Endangered
“Hurricane Season is unforgettable. It will reach into your heart and stay there long after.”
—Donna Freitas, author of The Healer