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What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
Books on Tape 2022
Status:
Checked Out
Description
A Marie Claire Book Club pick
Named A Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by *Marie Claire* *Teen Vogue* *Buzzfeed* *Essence* *Ms. Magazine* *NBCNews.com* *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 Ward's Salvage the Bones and Sue Monk Kidd's 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 father's death and their mother's disappearance.

 
An ode to Black girlhood and adolescence as seen through KB's 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 mother's 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 they're 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.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
02/01/2022
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780593510988
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Kai Harris. (2022). What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel. Unabridged Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Kai Harris. 2022. What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel. Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Kai Harris, What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel. Books on Tape, 2022.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Kai Harris. What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel. Unabridged Books on Tape, 2022.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
9ce424a4-d5b3-ed12-7891-f8e051f30173
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Date Added:
Jan 28, 2022 15:34:19
Date Updated:
Jan 28, 2022 15:34:19
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 29, 2022 21:54:34
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 29, 2022 21:54:34
Last Availability Check:
Jun 29, 2022 21:54:36
Last Availability Change:
Jun 29, 2022 10:41:15
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Jun 30, 2022 04:54:08

OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: Kai Harris is a writer and educator from Detroit, Michigan, who uses her voice to uplift the Black community through realistic fiction centered on the Black experience. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Kweli Journal, Longform, and the Killens Review, amongst others. In addition to fiction, Kai has published poetry, personal essays, and peer-reviewed academic articles on topics related to Black girlhood and womanhood, the slave narrative genre, motherhood, and Black identity. A graduate of Western Michigan University’s PhD program, Kai was the recipient of the university’s Gwen Frostic Creative Writing Award in Fiction for her short story, “While We Live.” Kai now lives in the Bay Area with her husband, three daughters, and dog Tabasco, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Clara University. Follow Kai on Twitter @authorkaiharris for a healthy dose of #blackgirlmagic. Read more at kaiharriswrites.com.
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title
What the Fireflies Knew
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A Marie Claire Book Club pick
Named A Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by *Marie Claire* *Teen Vogue* *Buzzfeed* *Essence* *Ms. Magazine* *NBCNews.com* *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 Ward's Salvage the Bones and Sue Monk Kidd's 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 father's death and their mother's disappearance.

 
An ode to Black girlhood and adolescence as seen through KB's 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 mother's 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 they're 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.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2022

        Harris's debut novel is a beautifully written and moving coming-of-age tale told by 10-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB) after her father's death from an overdose. When their mother is sent away for treatment, she and her teenage sister, Nia, are sent from Detroit to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing, Mich. With their mother gone, the two sisters, once best friends, have become disconnected as they drift through the hot and miserable summer. KB's isolation is palpable. Missing her parents and now stuck with a disagreeable grandfather she barely knows, she and Nia are suddenly plopped down as one of the few Black families in a white neighborhood. As the summer and heat wear on, secrets are revealed and illusions are released. As in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Harris addresses serious topics like racism, sexual assault, and mental health issues through the empathetic POV of a young girl. Zenzi Williams is a kind and gentle reader and ably evokes every emotion with perfect pitch. VERDICT This wonderfully written and beautifully narrated story will be a big favorite for book clubs and audiobook clubs.--Pam Kingsbury

        Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A Marie Claire Book Club pick
Named A Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by *Marie Claire* *Teen Vogue* *Buzzfeed* *Essence* *Ms. Magazine* *NBCNews.com* *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 Ward's Salvage the Bones and Sue Monk Kidd's 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 father's death and their mother's disappearance.

 
An ode to Black girlhood and adolescence as seen through KB's 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...
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