King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
It begins with dragonflies. Dragonflies flitting everywhere in a sultry Louisiana town.
Kingston James, known as King, has become fixated with dragonflies. There’s a reason for his obsession. After his older brother Khalid suddenly and tragically dies, King is convinced that his brother has morphed into a dragonfly. Whenever he sees one of these large-eyed iridescent insects he feels that Khalid is nearby.
Callender tells a compelling story of grief and the oppressive burden that death places on a family. The loss of his brother has cast a pall over King’s home. Familiar family routines have been set aside. There is now an empty place at the table. The family dynamic is fractured.
One of the few constants for King is Sandy Sanders. Sandy is the friend he can confide in, can talk with about things that really matter. The two friends share a love for anime and manga, spending spend hours sketching characters and discussing their favorite stories.
To please his brother, King has severed this treasured friendship because Sandy is gay. Khalid convinced King that he should not associate with gays.