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What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel

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A Marie Claire Book Club pick

Named A Most Aniticipated Book of 2022 by *Marie Claire* Buzzfeed* Essence* Bookriot* Bookbub and more!

"Harris rewrites the coming-of-age story with Black girlhood at the center."
--New York Times Book Review

In the vein of Jesmyn Wards Salvage the Bones and Sue Monk Kidds The Secret Life of Bees, a coming-of-age novel told by almost-eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB), as she and her sister try to make sense of their new life with their estranged grandfather in the wake of their fathers death and their mothers disappearance.

An ode to Black girlhood and adolescence as seen through KBs eyes, What the Fireflies Knew follows KB after her father dies of an overdose and the debts incurred from his addiction cause the loss of the family home in Detroit. Soon thereafter, KB and her teenage sister, Nia, are sent by their overwhelmed mother to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing, Michigan. Over the course of a single sweltering summer, KB attempts to navigate a world that has turned upside down.

Her father has been labeled a fiend. Her mothers smile no longer reaches her eyes. Her sister, once her best friend, now feels like a stranger. Her grandfather is grumpy and silent. The white kids who live across the street are friendly, but only sometimes. And theyre all keeping secrets. As KB vacillates between resentment, abandonment, and loneliness, she is forced to carve out a different identity for herself and find her own voice.

A dazzling and moving novel about family, identity, and race, What the Fireflies Knew poignantly reveals that heartbreaking but necessary component of growing up--the realization that loved ones can be flawed and that the perfect family we all dream of looks different up close.
Product Details

Author: Kai Harris

Language: English


Binding: Hardcover

Publisher: Tiny Reparations Books

Release Date: 2022-02-01

Pages: 288

ISBN: 059318534X

ISBN13: 9780593185346