Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever. The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. 

Why we chose this book: This book looks at the intersections of working through individual identity and recovering from a large life event. Hurricane Katrina changed Ramona’s family and economic security significantly. This book looks at how people adapt to new situations and challenges. As families are facing shifting social norms and economic barriers due to the COVID-19 we are learning to adapt to our new lives. Ramona is also trying to understand her sexuality and how it affects the relationships around her. The book provides insight into the multiple layers of complexity that we experience during significant life changes. In the book we see Ramona looking for hope and how to navigate various social systems in a new way.

Food for thought:

1. In what ways did Hurricane Katrina change Ramona’s life?

2. How did this event change her relationships with her parents?

3. What strategies did Ramona take to adapt to her new life?

4. How did reuniting with Freddie change Ramona’s last year in High School?

  *There are several digital copies of this book at the Winnipeg Library.

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