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King and the Dragonflies

King and the Dragonflies

Book - 2020 | First edition
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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.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2020
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781338129335
Call Number: j CALLENDER 2020
Characteristics: 259 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: King and the dragon flies


From Library Staff

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.

(Gr 4-8) 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.

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JCLChrisK Mar 24, 2021

A sensitive pursuit of identity and love spurred by hard events: the death of King's older brother and the disappearance of his best friend. Thrown into the mix are issues of race, abuse, and homophobia in his Louisiana bayou town. It is personable, poetic, moving, authentic, and approachable. 4.5 stars.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Dec 15, 2020

A lovely tale of love, loss, and acceptance. Will appeal to fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

Nov 19, 2020

Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature at the 71st Annual National Book Awards presented by the National Book Foundation.

JCLEmmaF Aug 27, 2020

Poetic, tender, strong, and important.

LPL_VanessaR Aug 19, 2020

King is one of those characters you will hold close to your heart for all the things he says and does not say. In an unimaginable sense of loss, Kind grapples with grief that is overcoming - when you lose a sibling-a brother-a sun-half of your heart. The book is probably one I will come back to in my lifetime to wrestle with all that was left unsaid between a brother and a sibling. “You don’t want anyone to think you’re gay, too, do you?” is one of the things, Khalid, his brother said, before his absence, before King could speak on it. Because he never told Khalid, that maybe he did like boys. How could he tell his brother, whom he loved more than life, his truth. Yet, King manages to walk along his brother’s presence as he comes to accept truths about himself that could not be denied. Khalid, was and will always be with King. Just like dragonflies, Khalid, would shed old beliefs to make room for all of King's truths.

Tigard_HollyCP Aug 06, 2020

King’s older brother can’t really be dead. Khalid just left the shell of his human body to become a dragonfly. He’s sure of it, but he'll keep that information to himself so everyone doesn't think he's crazy. Luckily, King kept a journal of all the things Khalid used to say in his sleep so he can relive some of their moments together. He also relives the moment that Khalid told him to cut off his friendship with his gay friend, Sandy. Khalid pointed out that it’s hard enough to be Black in this town, let alone be friends with a gay kid. But then Sandy, who happens to be the son of the town’s racist sheriff, goes missing. King can’t let Sheriff Sanders know he was the last person to see him. Throughout the search for Sandy, King learns a lot about himself, his brother, and the love of family. This is a wonderful, sometimes difficult, story by an #ownvoices queer Black author. Highly recommend for upper elementary and middle school.


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Dec 11, 2020

pedinedi thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 14


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