I’m perenially catching up on my reading, and just finished Kacen Callender’s 2020 MG debut, Hurricane Child. It was a thoroughly engrossing read. Set in the US Virgin Islands, it delivered a multisensory immersion into the life of a lonely 12-year-old. The main character, Caroline, is friendless and motherless. Her isolation nurtures her unique spirit. Caroline’s not quite like anyone else on the inside, and knows it. She sees spirits, and falls in love with an equally unusual girl.
The book’s structure feels a little messy, but in a way that works. Middle school is messy. For example, Caroline’s questions around her ability to see spirits are left unresolved. But that’s OK. No one’s finished figuring themselves out at 12.
Spring is slowly coming to Ontario, and soon the jays will be building their nests. A side project I’ve been poking at, an urban-naturalist’s ABC, inspired me to draw this jeering bird. Ink on vellum, 2021.
This past Tuesday, I took in a webinar with Frances Gilbert, cheerfully titled “I’ll Acquire Your Book If You Make Me Laugh: Writing Humorous Picture Books”. Frances Gilbert is both an editor at Doubleday Young Readers and the author of several really funny picture books.
It’s that time of year… time for the annual “What I did with my summer vacation year” post, otherwise known as the annual awards eligibility post — a quick accounting of everything I’ve published this year.