cover image The Last Beekeeper

The Last Beekeeper

Pablo Cartaya. HarperCollins, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-300655-3

Twelve-year-old Latinx Yolanda “Yoly” Cicerón has never known life without the System that connects everyone and everything around her. After climate disasters plunged the world into darkness, Silo—“the most connected and technologically advanced town in the Valley”—rose up as a beacon of hope, keeping people safe from nature’s brutal forces. Yoly dreams of living there, among the brightest and most privileged minds, instead of on her family’s struggling strawberry farm with her overbearing older sister. But her ambitions are jeopardized when money becomes too tight for Yoly to continue her Technologically Intuitive Education. Determined to enroll by any means possible, she accepts a scholarship from the mayor that hinges on attending a deadly scavenging program, then stumbles into a bee colony—and a dangerous conspiracy. Cartaya’s quick-moving plot pairs well with Yoly’s lively voice, highlighting themes of resistance, communal and ecological interdependence, and a shared responsibility to nature that’s sure to leave readers buzzing. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jess Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (July)