King and the Dragonflies

(1 customer review)


When Sandy goes missing, King blames himself. If he hadn’t abandoned his best friend then maybe things would not have got to this point. Yet what was he to do, for Khalid had overheard Sandy tell King that he was gay. When King admitted that he thought he might be too, Khalid had warned him, ‘You don’t want anyone thinking you’re gay too.‘ What is King to do? He doesn’t know how to think about Sandy, or Jasmine. All he feels is completely lost without his friend, but most of all without his brother, Khalid.

There’s such an emptiness in every place that King goes without his big brother. It seems like his parents won’t talk about it, yet now their father is telling King that he loves him when he drops him off at school. He’s never done this before. King knows that Jasmine likes him. While he likes her, is it a boyfriend- girlfriend feeling? King doesn’t know. He seeks signs of Khalid in the dragonflies along the bayou. A dragonfly appeared at Khalid’s funeral, and King knows that was a sign.

King and the Dragonflies is an emotional, thought provoking story rich in confusion, considerations and opportunities for conversation. Who are we? What compels our relationships? What makes us feel the way we do, from Sheriff Sanders who is so evidently racist toward black people like King’s family? Or even to King’s father, who says that you can’t be black and gay? Bookwagon recommends this book for mature middle grade readers.

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King and the Dragonflies

Karen Callender


Shortly before he died, Khalid warned his younger brother, ‘You don’t want anyone to think you’re gay too?‘ Now it’s King and the Dragonflies, as King looks for Khalid amongst the dragonflies that skip along the bayou. Furthermore, he’s working to come to terms with his brother’s absence and his warning. What does it mean? What does it mean to like a girl like Jasmine, but then be friends with Sandy? It was Sandy’s admission to King on the porch that Khalid overheard. Now everyone at school knows about Sandy. What’s more, Sandy has gone missing. Even worse, King has told him they could no longer be friends. What is it about friendships, relationships and a family death about which nobody will talk? How can you be black and gay? It seems like it’s impossible if you’re to believe Khalid, and the boys’ father.
King and the Dragonflies is a heartfelt story that tackles societal and family beliefs and expectations. What are the definitions of relationships between the law and society, different races, family members, or friends? Bookwagon recommends this story to mature middle-grade readers. This book deals with issues of race and sexuality. Kacen Callender is a Stonewall Award winning author.

1 review for King and the Dragonflies

  1. Paula Hale

    I would not have seen this book without Bookwagon. It is truly beautiful. I could not put this down, devoured in one sitting. Now time to share with others and order more books by Kacen Callender.

    • Bronnie

      Thank you so much. We’ve other Kacen Callender titles waiting to be added. This is such a special title, Bronnie

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