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42 pages 1 hour read

Kacen Callender

King and the Dragonflies

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2020

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Character Analysis

Kingston “King” James

Kingston “King” James is a 12-year-old Black youth who struggles to cope with the recent death of his older brother Khalid. King is introspective and imaginative. He imagines that his brother has turned into a dragonfly because one of the insects flitted into the church and landed on his brother’s casket during the funeral. It is his way of holding on to his brother’s memory, imagining that he is still part of this world but has just taken on a different form. King admits to being a quiet type: “Most people think that, because I don’t say much, I’m the shyest king to ever walk the earth, but I’m not actually shy. I just don’t like to speak as much. I speak even less, now that Khalid is gone” (14). In fact, King spends much of the novel immersed in his thoughts, trying to make sense out of a mystifying world that took away his 16-year-old brother. When he needs to be alone, he often escapes to his backyard tent or to the bayou, where he watches the dragonflies, fantasizing that one of them could be his brother. He keeps a journal, where he has recorded musings about the mysteries of the universe that Khalid said in his sleep.

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By Kacen Callender