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The Summer Prince

by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Published by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic Inc., 2013
289 pages
ISBN: 978𢠧45-417792

Age 15 and older

Four hundred years in the future, the South American city of Palmares Tr阺 (in what is now Brazil) is a tiered wonder dependent upon technology to function. Every year, the people vote for a Summer King, a young man who marks the next Queen with his blood when he抯 sacrificed in Winter. June Costa and her best friend, Gil, are supporters of Enki, a teenage boy from the Verde, the lowest level of Palmares Tr阺. Enki wins and at his first public appearance he and Gil fall in love. June is jealous at first梥he has a crush on Enki梑ut then discovers Enki is an artist, just like her, and is using his position to draw attention to the plight of the people in the Verde. The Aunties who rule with the Queen are suspicious of new technology and rely on the old and outdated. They don抰 want Palmares Tr阺 to become like Tokyo 10, where most people are simply data streams, no longer able to live in a body. But Enki has managed to get his hands on new tech梑ody modifications that have allowed him to tap into the city抯 central nervous system. This is how he creates his political art, and June becomes his eager partner. Then she finds out she抯 one of ten nominees for the Queen抯 Award, and she must choose what抯 more important梩rying to win the award, which guarantees her future, or creating art that is true and meaningful. A vividly drawn, sexually frank novel exploring the importance of connection and things that make us human and whole is full of complex, surprising characters whose relationships are as complicated and changing as real life.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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