A girl who struggles to breathe befriends a boy who seems shrouded in dust, in this unmissable tour de force from bestselling and award-winning author Dusti Bowling.
After Avalyn nearly died from an asthma attack, her parents moved her to the clear, dry air of Clear Canyon City, Arizona. And for the last ten years, she’s been able to breathe. That is, until Adam showed up.
Quiet and unkempt, Adam is an instant target for the bullies who have plagued Avalyn and her friends. As Avalyn gets to know him, she begins to suspect that the sudden, strange increase in dust storms around town are somehow connected to his emotions. She thinks his problems may be even worse at home, especially when massive black walls of dust start rolling in after the school day. Will she find a way to stand up for her new friend? Her life may just depend on it.
Dusti Bowling delivers a page-turning, powerful, and poignant novel of friendship, courage, and healing, perfect for readers of Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Erin Entrada Kelly.
There is a lot to love about this book, shrouded in mystery and wonder. Avalyn is a young girl, trying to find her way in the world, when the world seems to be trying to kill her at every turn. Her life-threatening asthma has caused her family to move – and her to be the subject of ridicule because she must use her inhaler. Avalyn thought she had found a safe place to live, until crazy dust storms start happening – but they also seem to react to the new kid in school – Adam.
Dust is part hopeful, part tragic, part mystical, as Avalyn uses her love of comic books and the X-Men to try and figure out just what is happening with Adam. And, the end is not what you expect. I found this book to be wonderfully written and allegorical, but I wonder if some of the story is lost on younger readers. Does Adam really have the power to control the dust? Or is that imagery about something more? Or is it a little of both? Only readers will know for sure – maybe.
About the Author:
DUSTI BOWLING grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where, as her family will tell you, she always had her nose in a book. She released her first middle grade novel in 2017 and hasn’t stopped writing since.
Dusti’s books have won the Reading the West Award, the Sakura Medal, a Golden Kite Honor, the William Allen White Children’s Book Award, and have been nominated for a Cybil and over thirty state awards.
Her books are Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections and have been named best books of the year by the Chicago Public Library, Kirkus, Bank Street College of Education, A Mighty Girl, Shelf Awareness, and many more.
Dusti currently lives in Eagar, Arizona with her husband, three daughters, and a bunch of farm animals.