Kacen Callender, National Book Award winner of King and the Dragonflies, delivers a stunning novel that invites readers into a child’s struggles with mental health, and their journey to wholeness.
Moon’s depression is overwhelming. Therapy doesn’t help, and Moon is afraid that their mom hates them because they’re sad. Moon’s only escape is traveling to the spirit realms every night, where they hope they’ll never return to the world of the living again.
The spirit realm is where they have their one and only friend, Wolf, and where they’re excited to experience an infinite number of adventures. But when the realm is threatened, it’s up to Moon to save the spirit world.
With the help of celestial beings and guardians, Moon battles monsters and shadows, and through their journey, they begin to learn that a magical adventure of love and acceptance awaits them in the world of the living, too.
This story of hope shows readers that our souls blossom when we realize that we are as worthy and powerful as the universe itself.
About the Author
Kacen Callender is a bestselling and award-winning author of multiple novels for children, teens, and adults, including King and the Dragonflies, winner of the National Book Award, Coretta Scott King Honor and Lambda Literary Award and Hurricane Child, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and Stonewall Honor Award, and the bestselling novel Felix Ever After. They live in US Virgin Islands.
Praise for King and the Dragonflies:
Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Young People's Literature!
Winner of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry!
*"[A] dynamic tale that will resonate with children struggling to reconcile who they are with what they think society wants them to be."-Booklist, starred review
*"Callender tackles some serious issues...with finesse and a heady sense of the passions and pangs of youth...this title solidifies Callender's merit as a powerful middle grade and YA author... An intense, gripping tale of love, loss, and friendship featuring a black youth grappling with his dreams and his identity."-School Library Journal, starred review
*"Callender masterfully balances resonant themes of grief, love, family, friendship, racism, sexuality, and coming-of-age...deeply affecting, memorable."-The Horn Book, starred review
*"[A] powerful tale of grief, intersectional identity, and love."-Publishers Weekly, starred review
"From the opening sentence, King and the Dragonflies sings the complications of loving and caring for imperfect and wounded people. Callender sets us deep into King's mind and life, and never lets go of the reins. They don't pull punches...and thank goodness for that!"-Alex Gino, the Stonewall and Lambda Literary Award-winning author of George
"This sensitive and powerful story speaks to any reader trying to find the courage to be themselves in a complicated world. King's heartbreaking, beautiful, and ultimately hopeful journey helps him come to terms with family loss and his own complex identity."-Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor Award Winning author of The Night Diary
"Young readers will find friends and allies aplenty in Kacen Callender's vital novel, King and the Dragonflies, which flutters with life, love, loss, and resilience, a story as iridescent and complex as a dragonfly's wings."-Alex London, author of Proxy and Black Wings Beating
"King and the Dragonflies is a lyrical coming of age tale about grief, friendship, family, belonging, identity, and hope. I honestly could not put this book down. This is a story that will stay with you long after you finish reading."-Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound
Praise for Hurricane Child:
* "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