From Printz honoree and National Book Award finalist Candice Iloh, a verse novel about Cerulean Gene, a nonbinary Black teenager struggling to keep their family afloat in the wake of their father's traumatic injuries in a fire while also escaping an oppressive school situation.
Cerulean and their friends went into senior year—the first year of normal school after the pandemic—with a plan: keep their heads down in class, save money, and get the hell out of the Bronx once they graduate. If teachers are going to force them to read Huckleberry Finn, then they can't blame kids for "lighting out for the territory." Cerulean is convinced that there must be somewhere better than the Bronx and is focused on learning how to grow and make food so they can all be self-sufficient when they finally make their break.
But burned-out, unsympathetic teachers and a very badly timed workplace accident for Cerulean’s father send Cerulean crashing back to Earth and suddenly it seems impossible for them to see beyond the neighborhood.