South Bronx, 1983. Smiles and Nike have big plans for their summer, but those plans start to change when new girl Sara becomes the head counselor at their camp. A story of hip-hop, urban life in the 80s, and friendships that change and endure.
"A must-read for fans of Walter Dean Myer's All the Right Stuff and other lovers of proud urban realism." --Kirkus Reviews
The summer of 1983 was the summer hip-hop proved its staying power. The South Bronx is steeped in Reaganomics, war in the Middle East, and the twin epidemics of crack and AIDS, but Raymond "Smiles" King and Guillermo "Nike" Vega have more immediate concerns. Smiles was supposed to be the assistant crew chief at his summer camp, but the director chose Cookie Camacho instead, kicking off a summer-long rivalry. Meanwhile, the aspiring b-boy Nike has set his wandering eye on Sara, the sweet yet sassy new camp counselor, as well as top prize at a breakdancing competition downtown. The two friends have been drifting apart ever since Smiles got a scholarship to a fancy private school, and this summer the air is heavy with postponed decisions that will finally be made. Raw and poignant, this is a story of music, urban plight, and racial tension that's as relevant today as it was in 1983.
About the Author
Sofia Quintero is a writer, activist, educator, speaker, and comedienne. She is also the author of Efrain's Secret and has written several hip-hop novels under the pen name Black Artemis. This self-proclaimed "Ivy League homegirl" graduated from Columbia University and lives in the Bronx. Learn more about Sofia at SofiaQuintero.com.