Awake in the World
Roaring Brook Press, 2019
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“Incisive, wholehearted dialogue and lovely prose . . . this coming-of-age tale cuts to the core.” —Kirkus
When all was lost, they found each other.
As the sun sets off the coast of the small California town of Orilla del Cielo, the silhouettes of oil rigs loom. Their shadows look jarring against the serene backdrop, their sharpness a reminder of unfulfilled promises. To Zach, they are also a reminder of loss—his father, an oil worker, drowned years earlier. With his family struggling to make ends meet, Zach feels he’s destined for a bleak future.
Until he meets Vanessa. She's an optimistic girl from a wealthy family whose sights are literally set on the stars. Inspired by her idol, Carl Sagan, she plans on studying astronomy at Cornell. But as oil prospectors in search of black gold know, the future is uncertain...and fortunes can always be flipped.