Flood City

Scholastic. Feb. 2021. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338111125.
Gr 5-8–After the effects of floods and pollution, only one city remains on Earth. The residents of Flood City are guarded by the Star Guard—giants that monitor them day and night, standing watch in case of another attack by the Chemical Barons. In Flood City, Max Salazar’s sister Yala prepares to join the much-disliked Star Guard, while Ato, one of the youngest Barons in the Chemical Dynasty, is part of a group on a cloud cruiser monitoring the city. But things take a dark turn when the mission turns into an attack on Flood City, and Ato realizes the commander plans to drop a massive weapon, killing hundreds of innocent people. An unexpected and thrilling chain of events leads to Max and Ato crossing paths, working together, and becoming friends as they realize the truth about their histories and try to save Flood City. Spanish words and phrases are found throughout the book, and the topic of race is embedded within the story, with most residents being shades of brown and black, and Baron fleet members white. With chapters that alternate among different characters’ viewpoints, readers will jump from one suspenseful scene to the next. Full of friendship, humor, and action, this thoughtful novel will keep readers turning the pages.
VERDICT An excellent, thought-provoking addition to middle grade collections, sure to set imaginations on fire.

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