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Hurricane Season

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  70 reviews
This debut novel—about taking risks and facing danger, about love and art, and about growing up and coming out—will make its way straight into your heart.

Fig, a sixth grader, wants more than anything to see the world as her father does. The once-renowned pianist, who hasn’t composed a song in years and has unpredictable good and bad days, is something of a mystery to Fig.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Algonquin Young Readers
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4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
Fig may look like any other 6th grader but she is struggling to stay afloat. She lives alone with her father, a once renowned pianist, who is living with bipolar disorder. As a consequence of this, Fig's role is often more one of parent than child.

Regardless of daily struggles, Fig loves her father with her whole heart and she knows that he loves her too. He is trying his hardest, he really is, but without any sort of outside assistance or treatment, they are barely getting by.

After an embarrass
Naomi Milliner
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, must-read book for MG readers - and their parents. Covering everything from Vincent Van Gogh (in the best way possible) to mental illness to sexuality, this debut novel has it all - and it is all done with grace and compassion and great care. Fig and her story will stay with you long after you turn the last page, which is as breathtaking as its cover - and that says a lot.
Joshua Levy
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I do not have the words for how much I enjoyed HURRICANE SEASON, or how important a book I think it will be to many kids. Fig and her dad are on their own. She's a sixth grader, trying to navigate that tumultuous age--while simultaneously taking care of her dad, an out-of-the-game musician whose mental health has deteriorated over time. Fig has the whole world on her shoulders, and then some. And she handles that burden with the absolutely perfect blend of grace and frazzled exhaustion.

I don't s
Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:

I received this E-ARC via Algonquin Young Readers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Trigger warning: Mention of ‘sick’ parent. Most likely mental illness. And child services. Till the point I read.

When I heard about this book through the publisher I was sold! I was so excited and happy when I got an arc. Unfortunately it wasn’t for me.

I didn’t like the writing style. And didn’t much care for the plot or the characters. I can’t speak for the mental illness rep. Thou
Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Algonquin Young Readers. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

I'mma just sit here and be drenched in the hurricane of feels please and thank you.

Stop whatever you're doing right here and now and please add this book to your TBR. Seriously. This is one of the best middle grade books that I ever read, a
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An emotionally-rich story about a sixth-grade girl struggling to make sense of and care for her father, a famous musician, who has become increasingly mercurial and ill as a result of undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

To figure him out, Fig immerses herself in biographies of Vincent Van Gogh, an artist whose temperament reminds her of her father's. If she studies art and this particular artist, she thinks, she'll understand her father better and perhaps unlock his secrets.

While at the library, Fig
Ms. Yingling
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Fig (given name Finola) and her father Tim live along the coast in New Jersey. Her father was an up and coming composer and performer before Fig's birth, but after her arrival, her mother left and her father struggled with the creative process. He has good days and bad days, and is especially disturbed by storms, which frequent their area at certain times of year. When her father comes to school in a very agitated state looking for Fig, her art teacher calls children's p
Gail Shepherd
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nicole Melleby's HURRICANE SEASON is just a flat-out beautiful middle-grade debut--it's hard to know where to begin to praise it. The novel follows Fig, a soulful sixth grader, as she worries and wonders about her brilliant, beloved father, a composer and pianist who, we learn over time, is manic depressive. The novel takes place over the course of hurricane season, a fraught time for Fig and her dad; he's obsessively drawn to storms, which seem to embody the swirling vortex of his own madness. ...more
Sarah Gross
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m probably biased because I grew up where this story takes place. Although my friends and I went to the junction for pizza instead of ice cream, I loved this book. Highly recommended for middle school classroom libraries!
Samantha (WLABB)
It had been Fig and her dad against the world since she was born, but when one of her father's episodes captured the attention of Fig's art teacher, it became Fig and dad against the Child Protection & Permanency department. As the months counted down during this figurative and literal hurricane season, Fig could not help but wonder if she would be able to save her family.

My emotions! My emotions! My heart was cracking in half during the early chapters of this books. It is always heartbreak
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that was just so EXACTLY what you needed to read in a certain moment? A few months ago I picked up my e-ARC of Nicole Melleby's debut middle grade, HURRICANE SEASON, during a difficult and emotional week when I was dealing with a lot of frustration over a relationship that was changing in ways I didn't want it to.

I was immediately swept into the book by Nicole's lyrical prose, and the heartbreakingly bittersweet situation her heroine, Fig, finds herself in. I read quick
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
I read this book in one day!  Even though it is contemporary, I found it hard to put down.

Fig lives with her dad.  She's 11 and her mom left when she was a day old.  So all she knows is living alone with her dad.  Her brilliant musician dad who is mentally ill.  Fig takes care of him, but it's getting so hard.  Hurricane season is the hardest.  For some reason, her dad leaves the house and goes to the ocean during a bad storm.  The police had to bring him home and got child protective services i
Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

I requested this book because I am always, always on the hunt for that elusive middle grade novel that reads with the fluidity and nuance of a YA title. This one seemed like it could be that and it was. I can't wait to order this for my library and hand it out to all of my readers who devour realistic fiction (I do have a big draw for that) AND I'm glad to be able
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*This ARC was provided to me by the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book.  I feel it deals with important topics that could affect children of this age.  The author shows more than tells the reader about the different affects a parent with a mental disorder could have on a child.  It shows that a mental disorder affects more than just the person with the symptoms. 

The topic in general is rather heavy – as anything with mental illness/dis
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

Title: Hurricane Season
Author: Nicole Melleby
Genre: Middle grade contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
Trigger/content warnings: abandonment by a parent (Fig's mother, in the past), mental illness (bipolar disorder), some bullying, self harm, fear of losing one's mind, fear of someone taking their life (talks on suicide), neglect of a child (even though Fig's dad loves her very much, he is not well and therefore Fig has to fend fo
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fig is a young girl who lives with her erratic father. The novel starts with her dad showing up at school and just wanting to see that his daughter is okay. This causes her teacher to call Child Protective Services on her. Fig is furious but she soon finds help in her new neighbor, Mark, who deals with one of her father's manic episodes in a very caring manner. Can Fig stay with her father or will she be torn apart? This was a great novel that addressed the heartfelt topic of single parenthood, ...more
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
A novel about a father's mental illness and a daughter's desperate desire to take care of him, even as she wonders who will take care of her.

Since the day after she was born and her mother took off and left, it has always been just Fig and her dad. Fig's dad, Tim Arnold, had once been a celebrated musician/composer in New York City, but now he and Fig live on the Jersey shore. Though her dad loves Fig very much, he is subject to mood swings and erratic behavior. And attracted to the shoreline wh
Alyson Stone
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, middle-fic
Book: Hurricane Season
Author: Nicole Melleby
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, for providing me with this ARC.

I must say I was very surprised with this one. To me, a lot of times middle school reads can be kind of iffy. It seems like a lot of middle school books almost want to shelter kids for the world or make it seem so much simpler than it actually is. What I really liked about Hurricane Season was that it didn’t do any of that. It deals wi
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 5-8

What if your mom left the day after you were born, your dad has a mental problem that you don't understand, and you are trying to hold everything together? How would you feel? That's a lot for an eleven-year-old sixth grader, but this is exactly what Fig is going through. Fig is doing everything in her power to make it seem like her and her dad live a "normal" life to her classmates and the neighbors. But that is hard to do on days when he comes busting into her art class duri
Nicole Hewitt
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Hurricane Season is a poignant story of the complexities of loving a parent who struggles with mental health issues. Fig is used to having to take care of her dad. She's used to him embarrassing him in front of her friends. She's used to needing help (sometimes even from the police). She's used to the questions and the worry that this time social services might actually take her dad away from her. She's used to all of
Jenna Reeh
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby tackles issues such as gender identity and mental health in an approachable way for middle schoolers.

Fig, an eleven year-old, lives with her father who is known for his ability to compose music and play the piano. Now, her father has good and bad days. Some days he’s playful and fun, and other days he can’t get out of bed.

Fig turns to a kind neighbor and the local library for help understandin
Danelle The Librarian
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hurricane Season is a great middle grades read. I often describe this type of realistic fiction book to my students as "Kids with Problems". Many students in this age group like to read about other kids with problems- like their own, but also different problems too. Fig aka Finola lives with her mentally ill father. He is clearly loving and a musical genius. But untreated mental illness has made his life and Fig's too, very difficult. Fig is at an age where she doesn't want to be different or em ...more
Cassie Thomas
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I found the storyline to be very intriguing. I loved Fig and I loved that she wanted so badly to be her father's keeper, but I do know there are moments in my students lives where they have to step back and understand they need to just be a kid. I liked the way Nicole explored that subject that tends to happen so often in middle grade classrooms. I loved all of the social issues interwoven, I just feel like with some kids it will definitely be too much, which is okay because not every book is fo ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars for this one! While there was a lot of moving parts in this book (that may make it a bit more difficult for the younger MG audience to understand), I think that those parts are very easy for kids to relate to. Between the need for friendship and family, there are story lines about mental illness, coming out and knowing what your family can be. So much going on! Give yourself time to fall in love with Fig, Danny, her father and Mark and to enjoy their story of transformation.
Lovely Loveday
Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby is a beautiful, must-read book for MG readers. A captivating and emotionally-rich story of a young girl struggling to care for her father, a famous musician, ill as a result of undiagnosed bipolar disorder. A story will stay with you long after you turn the last page.  Hurricane Season is a story that is easy for kids to relate to.
Adriana (SaltyBadgerBooks)
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book on so many levels. Mental illness is super rare in books, as it still seems to be a taboo subject, but to find it in a middle grade read is even more rare than that. I loved the struggle Fig had, and the anger too. It just felt real for someone who was her age and going through this. I loved the relationship between her and her dad, and how she wanted to learn about art for him. I also really liked that Vincent Van Gogh was compared to her dad, and how she used that to try and ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, kids
Gorgeously layered with music and art, HURRICANE SEASON is the heartfelt story of Fig, a lovable girl who is fiercely protective of her musician/composer father, who has untreated mental illness. I loved the exploration of the father/daughter relationship and the way Vincent Van Gogh’s art and life functioned as a motif throughout the story. There are strong themes of friendship and finding yourself, and Fig experiences a sweet first crush on a girl who works in the library. Readers will invest ...more
Remy Lai
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fig is trying to make sense of her father's mental illness and her own sexuality. A gorgeous book about forgiveness and understanding, and giving people second chances.

Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Algonquin Young Readers for an eARC of this book.

Fig lives with her father, who was an accomplished pianist but has been unable to finish a piece for many years. Fig's life revolves around caring for his erratic moods, and never being sure which dad she's going to encounter. She longs to understand him, and takes to learning about Van Gogh and art to see if she can understand her dad better. When a new neighbor across the street helps save Fig's dad one night during a
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
CW: depiction of manic episodes, a nervous tic that leads to mild self discomfort/harm, parental abandonment

Rep: mental health (bipolar disorder), MC who questions her sexuality, later-in-life queer realization

Fig is a young girl trying very hard to connect with her father. It's been them against the world since Day 1 when her mother left. Ever since, they've supported one another, sometimes Fig more than her father because she knows better than anyone how to take care of him during his "bad day
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Nicole Melleby is a born-and-bred Jersey girl with a passion for storytelling. She studied creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently teaches creative writing and literature courses with a handful of local universities. Her debut novel, HURRICANE SEASON (Algonquin Young Readers) was called “a thoughtful portrayal of mental illness with queer content that avoids coming-out cli ...more