The last thing Mia wants to do is spend the summer with her grandparents in their home on the Caribbean island of Bambarra. She was supposed to be at a camp with her best friend, but instead she’s stuck with her little brother, no cell phone, no TV and a grandma who is strict. Mia is also worried about being away from her mom, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
When Mia discovers that a traditional healer may have a special tea to help her mom get better, she’ll break any rule to get some and take it home long before summer ends.
Hurricane Mia written by Donna Marie Seim and illustrated by Susan Spellman shows what can happen when adults and children don’t communicate about important events that affect everyone. Mia’s grandparents and her mother mean well, but they don’t talk to Mia about why they make the rules they set down so she thinks they are unfair and is inclined to break them when she can. Mia deems all the rules unreasonable and has a hard time seeing beyond getting what she wants. But then she learns that breaking the rules can have very real consequences beyond getting punished.
I’m not sure how much Mia learned from her mistakes, and I wasn’t convinced that Mia, her brother, and their friend would be so competent when they ran into trouble on the water, but overall I think Hurricane Mia brings up good issues to discuss about friendship, making judgments about people, and communicating with family members.