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"This novel is The Outsiders of our time."

--Goodreads reader

Reader praise for The Coolest Labels:

"An utterly timely novel."

"A spellbinding novel intermingling racial tensions and coping mechanisms needed to survive Hurricane Andrew."

"I couldn't put it down."

"Melting pots can become delicious concoctions or one hot mess! Fred Smith gets that across in an entertaining and interesting way."


A generation is ready for its close-up.


Miami. 1992.

Hurricane Andrew's wrath has devastated South Dade County. 

Root High took a beating but will answer the fall semester's bell and open its doors to thousands of traumatized teens from a range of ethnicities and socio-economic strata. Some of the students may have fared better than others during the storm, but none of them have anywhere else to go. 

During a year fraught with tension and desperation, the kids at Root High will fight, they'll fall in love, they'll vie for social superiority, and experience unrest that will push the school to the brink. 

Through the lens of her Sony Handycam, senior Johnette Derringer documents the underlying strife that binds Root’s students and sees the spark that could set the school ablaze with anarchy.


The question she keeps asking herself is can the imminent uprising be quelled before it turns deadly?

Available on:
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More Books by Fred Smith

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The Closet

Ten critically acclaimed short stories offer a glimpse into the American struggle and reveal truths we don’t always expect—or admit.

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Invisible Innocence:
my story as a homeless youth

The true story of a former homeless youth who found the strength to come forward so others may finally understand a problem that our society can no longer ignore.

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