The Summer Prince

Alaya Dawn Johnson, Author
Alaya Dawn Johnson. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-545-41779-2
Book - 978-0-545-52077-5
Paperback - 289 pages - 978-0-545-41780-8
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Eighteen-year-old artist June Costa is a citizen of Palmares Três, a vertically structured city in what was once Brazil, with the rich at the top, the poor at the bottom, and a vital tradition of music and dance. Its centenarian queen keeps a tight rein on the tech—electronic and pharmaceutical—that allows for intensive state security and bodily modification. Privileged but rebellious June and her best friend Gil live on Tier Eight, and when they get involved with Enki, a beautiful bottom-tier resident who will serve a year as the summer king before his ritual sacrifice, her political art gains attention, and things get dangerous. In her YA debut, Johnson (the Spirit Binders series) depicts a future that’s recognizably Brazilian and human—June may have nanohooks, holo screens, and light implants, but 400 years on, teens still resent their parents and find ways to subvert the technology their elders theoretically control. With its complicated history, founding myth, and political structure, Palmares Três is compelling, as is the triple bond between June, Enki, and Gil as they challenge their world’s injustices. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Mar.)
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