A 2021 Coretta Scott King Honor Book!
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!
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.
FOUR STARRED REVIEWS!
School Library Journal
The Horn Book
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.
Author: Kacen Callender
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Binding Type: Hardcover
Size: 8.30h x 5.80w x 0.90d
Audience: Ages 9-12
Reading Level: 4.9
Point Value: 7
Interest Level: Middle Grade
Quiz #/Name: 507429 / King and the Dragonflies
Kirkus Reviews 12/01/2019
Publishers Weekly 12/02/2019
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks 01/01/2020
School Library Journal 01/01/2020 pg. 66
Booklist 01/01/2020 pg. 93
Horn Book Magazine 01/01/2020 pg. 87
Shelf Awareness 11/24/2020
Hornbook Guide to Children 01/01/2020 - Outstanding, Noteworthy In Style
About the Author
Kacen Callender is the author of multiple books for children, teens, and adults, including the Stonewall and Lambda Literary award-winning Hurricane Child and King and the Dragonflies, a National Book Award winner and winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry. Born and raised in St. Thomas of the USVI, they enjoy playing video games in their free time. Kacen currently lives and writes in Philadelphia.