Covers are tricky.
And though the UK (Tamarind) cover is perfectly beautiful and not one that screams ‘kid’s book! (if you care about that, obviously I don’t) it’s a little…boring?
The French cover (middle) is my favourite, the German cover on the left is the one that I suspect kids would go for .
Covers aside, the book is a graceful, meditative tale of a girl named Jewel, a family fractured by unspeakable grief, friendship and ultimately healing. Twelve year old Jewel is of Jamaican and Mexican heritage, feels out of place in her small town and doesn’t seem to have a single friend to spend the summer with. Eugene/John is a trans-racial adoptee spending the summer with his white uncle. The two young people bond despite Jewel’s grandfather and family still mourning for her brother (nicknamed Bird though named John) who died in a tragic accident the day she was born.
Billed as 8-12, to me this book would be perfect for that in-between age 10-13.
Here is a Q&A with author Crystal Chan