February 16, 2022

What the Fireflies Knew

"Everybody ain't got a home." ~ 51%

What the Fireflies Knew is told from the perspective of 11-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB) as she and her sister, Nia, try to make sense of their new surroundings over the course of a summer. The girls have already experienced loss. Their dad dies of a drug overdose. The family home in Detroit is lost due to debts incurred from his addiction. Their overwhelmed mother sends KB and Nia to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing.

Imagine how KB must feel. Through descriptive scenes and actions told in wonderful prose, readers learn that KB is very inquisitive. KB is often dismissed because of her age but respectfully asks questions and demands answers. I rooted for KB's peace the whole novel through. This fictional story set in my hometown is so well told!

I love a good coming-of-age novel. What the Fireflies Knew checked all the boxes. It was engaging, a slow build to climax, relatable and perfect character development. Author Kai Harris captured the innocence and voice of an 11-year-old Black girl. Within the first couple chapters, I was so endeared to the main character. The main theme resonates long after I've turned the last Kindle page: loved ones can be flawed and that's okay.  

Happy Pub Month, Kai Harris! Keep using your voice to uplift the Black community. What the Fireflies Knew is now available.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: What the Fireflies Knew
Author: Kai Harris
Published: February 2022
Pages: 281
Edition: Galley
Genre: Coming-of-Age
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

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