Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield
Macmillan / Wednesday Books
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
When Tilla finds out she and her sister will be spending the summer with their often-absent father in his family home in Jamaica, she is torn. On one hand, she’s angry with him for being gone so much, but on the other, she is excited for a chance to learn about her Jamaican heritage and finally get to spend some time with her dad. Unfortunately, he leaves the girls with family in the rural countryside soon after they arrive, and as a hurricane bears down on the island, Tilla struggles to find solid ground amid a shifting, complex family dynamic.
Hurricane Summer is richly atmospheric, thoroughly transporting readers to the hot, humid landscape of rural Jamaica. Even though Tilla is Jamaican by heritage, she finds herself navigating cultural differences with her aunts, uncles, and cousins. There are difficult to read sections that tackle tough topics like colorism, classism, and abuse intertwined with a deep friendship with cousin Andre and a blossoming (though star-crossed) romance, which keeps the story moving and provides an emotional respite for readers. Content warnings for racism, physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, and death.
Readers interested in stories of teens visiting their ancestral homes for the first time or who are looking for immersive atmospheres will also enjoy Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite and The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim. Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land explores the experience of another set of sisters discovering that their father isn’t really who they thought he was.
—Allie Stevens (she/her)
Other Nominated Titles
- Daughter of Sparta by Claire Andrews (June 8, 2021)
- Pumpkin by Julie Murphy (May 25, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.