Title: Hurricane Season
Author: Nicole Melleby
Genre: Middle Grade, LGBT
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: May 7, 2019
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.
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.
This is a great middle grade novel.
This story features important life events which are not usually discussed in middle grade books. Fig is discovering her own sexuality, while her father is as well. Her father is an adult, but he is still figuring out his identity. It was challenging for Fig to learn that her dad was changing in this way.
I loved the comparison of art and life in this story. Fig studies Van Gogh for her art class, and she notices a lot of similarities between him and her father. This is a great way to introduce kids to artists like Van Gogh. She was able to learn a lot from his art, which could be applied to her life as well.
I really enjoyed this story!
Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers
The Mozart Girl by Barbara Nickel
Have you read Hurricane Season? What did you think of it?