Written by Kevin Jared Hosein
published by Blouse & Skirt Books
The Beast of Kukuyo is a fascinating, engrossing novel that will have you hooked from the very beginning. Kevin Jared Hosein creates an atmospheric experience filled with descriptive details that bring the experiences of the characters, and the village of Kukuyo in Trinidad, to life.
The Beast of Kukuyo takes us on a journey with a 15-year-old Rune Mathura who has to face the brutal murder of her classmate and friend Dumpling Heera.
Rune loves detective shows, and she believes that with everything she’s learned from watching these shows she will find justice for her friend Dumpling, but as she launches her own investigation she realizes that things in real life are not what the television portrays.
During her investigations Runi discovers the embedded issues within her village that are making it difficult to find justice for her friend. She starts to realize that her village and community are filled with a lack of hope, on-going violence, substance abuse, and poverty.
The novel leads Runi into a journey of self-discovery as she pieces together that the exclusion she experiences in her community is because of her skin color, the destruction in other families, and all of the bullying experienced throughout the village, is the internal pain these individuals in the village are feeling.
The Beast of Kokuyo provides us a window into small village life in the Caribbean, specifically in Trinidad, with its food, language and other cultural aspects playing a role within the book. This well-written story starts off very quietly builds up into a murder-mystery, social commentary and a call to action while giving a voice to underrepresented characters in Young Adult Literature.
Author Kevin Jared Hosein
Elisa A. Garcia is a Supervising Librarian of Teen Services at the New York Public Library. She is motivated to foster a love of reading in reluctant teen readers and therefore strives to introduce them to a diverse world and experiences through books. Mentoring new librarians, Elisa has savored the opportunity to broaden her scope in promoting diversity in librarianship by building on her love to help our communities and instilling in others the passion she has for libraries and readers as a whole.