About the Book:
“TORNADO SEASON arrives as a storm is raging. Yet its stories urge us not to seek shelter, but to leave it. To walk out of our inner place of hiding and face the whirlwind. To recognize it. To acknowledge it and fight it. Ethnicity and culture alongside the U.S.-Mexico border; deportation and immigration; life in the U.S. foster care system–of these tumultuous subjects Courtney Craggett writes with honesty, a big heart, and a complete lack of sentimentality. She shows us ordinary people who suffer, dream, hope, and strive for something just a little bit better. And by doing so, she elevates these stories from the realm of the timely into that of the timeless. Long after the storm has passed, the stories in TORNADO SEASON will ring true and dear for they sing of the innermost yearning of the human heart for freedom, justice, and love.”–Miroslav Penkov
Read an Excerpt:
“When we were very young the world spun with colors that other people did not see. It began in the nursery. You cried and your tears filled the room with a bruised sunset. I covered my ears at the parade
we watched because the orange of the blaring trumpets was too bright.
And at bedtime we fell asleep to the deep, midnight blue of the night train that drove through town. “Do you see it too?” I whispered with my hand in yours, and you nodded and we knew that we were not alone.
You were not my brother, but we were children together. Nobody told us why, and we did not need to know. Our mother tucked us in and sang prayers to us with her voice of silvery purple, and we hugged her goodnight and breathed in her hues.
I did not know that my colors belonged to you. We had just
graduated from high school when the tornado hit our house. It stole you from me, and you stole the colors. The doctors said I hit my head.
They said that perhaps my hearing was damaged and that my ears would ring forever. They asked me if it hurt, and I nodded and said it is a knife. But I did not say that it took away the colors, that now the world no longer spins but is still and gray. They brought me into a booth and hooked wires to my ears and played sounds for me. “Can you hear it?”
they asked me. I said yes, I can hear it. But I cannot see it, I thought.
When we were children, you called my name one night and together we slipped out of our bedroom window. People say that the night is black, but they do not see like we see. We stood in the golden night while the dew soaked up our feet. You pulled me to the pavement, and we ran, and our wet feet left our trail behind us. It did not matter where you were
leading me because I trusted you. “Be very quiet,” you said, so we ran on tiptoe, fearing that our neighbors would wake up, old Mr. Snider with his army green bark, or Mrs. Lowenstein with her raspberry laugh. A
mockingbird sang like it was morning.”