The Summer of Bitter and Sweet

Lou (Métis/white) is spending the summer before college working at her family’s ice cream stand in her Canadian prairie town. After her mom leaves to sell beadwork on the powwow circuit, Lou’s biological father–the white man who raped Lou’s mom when she was 16–lets Lou know he’s out of prison and demands to meet her.

I Must Betray You

When 17-year-old Cristian Florescu is called to his school office and confronted by a member of the Romanian secret police, the Securitate officer tells Cristian that he and his family won’t be punished for the illegal American dollar Cristian possesses if he’s willing to become an informer.

Freedom Swimmer

In Guangzhou province, China, 1968, teenage Ming lives with other older orphans and works in the fields like everyone else in his village. Six years before, Ming’s mother, like many in the village, died during the great famine that the government attributes to natural disasters when in fact it was the result of poor policy.

Blackout

Six stories by six different contributors are set during a citywide blackout in New York that begins on a hot summer day and extends into the night, ending at a Brooklyn block party where all the characters converge.