cover image Where the Lockwood Grows

Where the Lockwood Grows

Olivia A. Cole. Little, Brown, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-44912-0

Devastating blazes once threatened to destroy the city of Prine, until scientist Dr. Lunata Elemneiri engineered a powerful, fireproof plant called lockwood. Now, dense lockwood shrouds Prine in darkness. To make ends meet, children small enough to maneuver its branches—like 12-year old Erie—are forced to prune the plant to filter sunlight as well as sell lockwood clippings to FOLROY, a company that owns most of the products in Prine. At home, Erie grows distant from her older sister Hurona, who has outgrown working in the lockwood, and worries about her emotionally exhausted inventor mother, who’s grieving the deaths of Erie’s aunt and father. After a fight between Erie and Hurona leads to shocking revelations about their town, the sisters leave together for Petrichor, a nearby city where they hope to confront Dr. Elemneiri regarding the rumored conspiracy. As they embark on their trek, Erie and Hurona must relearn how to open up to each other, especially as their investigation dredges up old family secrets. Erie’s hopeful stream-of-consciousness narrative and the protagonists’ tumultuous sisterhood add an emotionally grounded through line to this jam-packed, climate-oriented allegory by Cole (Dear Medusa), which acutely highlights the impact of capitalism and its tendency to prioritize profits over people. Ages 8–12. Agent: Patrice Caldwell, New Leaf Literary. (Aug.)