Shakirah Bourne is a Barbadian author and filmmaker. She once shot a movie scene in a cave with bats during an earthquake, but is too scared to watch horror movies. She enjoys exploring oldgraveyards, daydreaming and eating mangoes.
She currently resides in Barbados in the Caribbean, and spends most of her time staring out at the sea thinking about new stories to tell. Her debut middle grade contemporary fantasy, JOSEPHINE AGAINST THE SEA, was published by Scholastic in July 2021. Her next book, a middle grade horror called DUPPY ISLAND, will be published in 2023.
Meet Josephine, the most loveable mischief-maker in Barbados, in a magical, heartfelt adventure inspired by Caribbean mythology.
Eleven-year-old Josephine knows that no one is good enough for her daddy. That’s why she’s desperate to make it onto her school’s cricket team. She’ll get to play her favorite sport AND make sure her fisherman daddy is too busy attending her matches to date.
But when tryouts go badly, the frustrated Josephine cuts into a powerful silk cotton tree and accidentally summons a bigger problem into her life . . .
The next day, Daddy brings home a new catch, a beautiful woman named Mariss. And unlike the other girlfriends, she doesn’t scare easily. Josephine knows there’s something fishy about Mariss–she sings in a strange language, eats weird food, and seems to exert mysterious control over everyone she meets.
Josephine knows that Mariss isn’t what she seems . . . she might not be human! But who’s going to believe her? Can Josephine convince her friends to help her and use her cricket skills to save Daddy from Mariss’s clutches before it’s too late?
Praise for Josephine Against the Sea
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
“Jo is a funny, determined heroine with no end of schemes, and Bourne’s masterful modernizing of jumbie lore is thrilling. The story is riveting from beginning to end.” — Tracey Baptiste, New York Times bestselling author
“A heart-wrenching adventure with big laughs and well-earned surprises.” — Kirkus, Starred Review
“Filled with humor and vibrant, likable characters, the suspense of this fast-paced, laugh-out-loud fantasy will keep the pages turning.” — Booklist, Starred Review
“A roaring tale of hidden Caribbean mysticism… Bourne nets a relatable story of processing grief, trust in one’s family and community, and Black girl magic.” — Publishers Weekly
“An entertaining read featuring many references to creatures from Caribbean mythology; sure to be a great addition to any library’s middle grade collection.” — School Library Journal
“Bourne skillfully draws on Barbadian folklore to create a suspenseful adventure that will keep readers guessing until the very end.” — Bookpage
“This delightful novel is both heartwarming and thrilling.” — Book Riot
“Josephine Against the Sea will whisk you away to a new fantasy world beautifully inspired by Caribbean mythology. . . . I also really love the elements of contemporary woven throughout that make the world building very accessible.” — BuzzFeed