From Printz honoree and National Book Award finalist Candice Iloh, a verse novel about Cerulean Gene, a nonbinary Black teenager searching for a new way to do more than survive in post-pandemic America.
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.
Burned-out teachers and their father's badly timed workplace accident send Cerulean reeling off course, but Bronx babies are resiliant and resourceful, and Salt the Water is ultimately a radically hopeful vision of life beyond mere survival.
About the Author
Candice Iloh is a first generation Nigerian-American writer, teaching artist, and youth educator. They are a graduate of Howard University and hold an MFA in writing from Lesley University. Their work has earned fellowships from Lambda Literary and VONA among many others. Their debut novel, Every Body Looking,was a finalist for the National Book Award and earned a Michael L. Printz honor.
“Candice Iloh’s Salt the Water invites the radical work of envisioning freedom. I learned so much from seventeen-year-old Cerulean: to do more than hope for and dream of freedom, but to plan for it. To bury my hands in the soil, in the vibrant verse of this story. To go there.”— Safia Elhillo, award winning author of Home Is Not a Country and Girls that Never Die