This beautifully written middle grade contemporary, Hurricane Season, by Nicole Melleby is a book that all young readers will enjoy.
Thank you to Algonquin Young Reader’s for allowing me to read this wonder book.
Title: Hurricane Season
Author: Nicole Melleby
Published by: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication date: May 7th, 2019
Genres: Middle Grade, LGBT, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Mental Health
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.
Hurricane Season is the first middle grade contemporary that I’ve read and it was fantastic. It addresses mental health, bullying, LGBT, and family dynamics.
Eleven year old Fig’s dad is “sick” and when he comes bursting into her class in a panic all eyes are on her. She’s used to her dad having bad days but this is the first time he’s come to her school and when Child Protection comes to her house she starts thinking the worst.
When fig is given a project in art class to create a painting inspired by a famous artist she finds herself diving into the life of Vincent Van Gogh and realizing she understands him a lot more than she ever thought she would.
Follow Fig through her journey in understanding her father’s mental illness while discovering she may not like her friend Danny in the same way he likes her, and finding that she can let go and let someone help her with her father so that she can be a kid.
I enjoyed this book and find it so important for young readers. I can’t wait to read more from Nicole in the future, especially if they are as well written as this one!
Nicole Melleby is a born-and-bred Jersey girl with a passion for storytelling. She studied creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently teaches creative writing and literature courses with a handful of local universities. When she’s not writing, she can be found browsing the shelves at her local comic shop or watching soap operas with a cup of tea.