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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."
"This novel is The Outsiders of our time."
The Coolest Labels is a young adult novel set in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in Miami, August 1992. Families lost everything. Well, some did. Depending on where you lived.
But they were all forced together into a school that was still standing. Root High.
Our journey through the crowded halls is told through the lens of Johnette Derringer. She lost her dad in the storm, but that might have been a good thing. He was an abusive, racist asshole after all. Johnnie is new to Root, but feels the tension buzzing like lightning. It feels like the slightest nudge would set off the flurry of emotions: fear, anger, jealousy, love.
Who’s pushing the buttons to cause all the chaos? What’s to gain?
She carries a camera from the foggy stoner’s den, to the thunderous streets of the gangs, to the shining glamour of the elite to find the story.
She’s not ready for everything she finds.