About the Book
Rylla McCracken dreams of escaping her family’s trailer in the Dust States to go to college, but on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, her mother demands she drop out of school to work for Lockburn chemical refinery instead. When Rylla learns Lockburn is planning to dam the Guadalupe River—the last flowing water in Texas—she defies her mother to protest in the state capital. The protest ends in disaster, but her ensuing viral infamy gains Rylla an acceptance to the mysterious Wingates University.
At Wingates, Rylla befriends a diverse group of students, all working on new technologies to save the planet. Besides mountains of homework, Rylla struggles with guilt for leaving her brother behind in the Dust, where tensions with the Lush States are escalating towards civil war. Succeeding at Wingates seems like Rylla’s best chance to help her family, until she uncovers a terrible secret about the school’s billionaire backers. Now, Rylla and her friends are in a race against the rich to reclaim the world-altering technology they’ve developed—before it’s too late.
About the Author
Sim Kern is an environmental journalist and speculative fiction writer, exploring intersections of climate change, queerness, and social justice. You can find links to all their stories at simkern.com and follow them on Twitter @sim_kern, on Instagram @Sim_bookstagrams_badly, and on their YouTube channel.