About this book
Laurel Croza • Kelsey Garrity-Riley
Charity takes small steps to escape her controlling father. Jasmine endures the rumors about her at school, even though no one really knows what happened last summer. The Oh! So Perfect Hair Dolly wishes for just the right child to take her home from the store. Nicola has a run-in with a classmate on her first day at a new school in the big city — or is the classmate a wolf in disguise? A squirrel ruminates on the nature of life and death. Dani fights for her dream, in spite of her father’s insistence that her older brother should be the one to play hockey. Mike finds the kind of family he has longed for in his coworkers at the restaurant where he works.
In these seven stories by Laurel Croza (author of the award-winning picture books I Know Here and From There to Here), five teenagers, a doll and a squirrel break out of the expectations placed upon them. Featuring beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley.
There’s no need for Snapchat or text messages in a high school cafeteria at lunchtime. All you have to do is sit at one of the tables. Guaranteed, after a minute or two, you’ll know everything there is to know. It’s all here. Carried just above our heads. Words surging and swelling and rolling across the cafeteria like bodysurfers at a concert. Talk washing over us, flooding us with the ohmygods, the names, the details. Everyone, even the quiet ones, caught up in the rumors. The gossip. The whirlpool.
Sometimes the whirlpool slows. A sudden waiting, watching, listening silence. A signal that fresh drama is about to unfold. Not on the stage at the back of the room, the curtain drawn shut. This theater plays out right in front of us, down on the floor, in the depths of the cafeteria.
I’m not surprised when the current pauses in front of me. It’s the end of September but it’s still my name that swirls around and around and around. My name trapped in the whirlpool since school started, the day after Labor Day.
About the Creators
Laurel Croza is the author of the picture book I Know Here, illustrated by Matt James. It won the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, among many other accolades. She also wrote the sequel, From There to Here. The Whirlpool is Laurel’s first short-story collection. She lives with her husband in Toronto.
Kelsey Garrity-Riley grew up in Germany and Belgium before moving to the US to pursue her love of art. She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. She has also illustrated Other-Wordly by Yee-Lum Mak. Kelsey lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.