To Feel Whole

Submitted By:
Rebecca Wolski, Katherine Delmar Burke School, San Francisco

Moon Flower by Kacen Callender
Scholastic, September 6, 2022

How can educators best understand the challenges faced by today’s students? Kacen Callender, National Book Award winning author of King and the Dragonflies, offers a multifaceted and gentle new novel inviting a better understanding of how suicidality and depression can look, feel, and sound in young people. Callender draws from personal experience in creating the main character, Moon, a Black transgender child of a single mother. Moon experiences depression and intense hopelessness, and they even fear rejection from their mother due to their continued challenges. To escape these feelings, they find comfort in exploring spiritual realms and grapple with feelings of not wanting to return to life among the living. This expertly crafted tale is hopeful and fosters acceptance. We could all use a little more acceptance in our lives. Consider this book for middle school faculty with students who do not feel seen or heard and for those students themselves. Callender’s words will help people to better understand and empathize with the experience of a student struggling to feel whole.

Gender & Sexual Identity
Student Wellness & Safety