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“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 competitiondowntown. 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.
After graduating from Columbia University with a BA in history-sociology and an MPA from its School of International and Public Affairs, Sofia Quintero began her first career as a policy analyst and advocate. She worked for various nonprofit organizations and government agencies including the Vera Institute of Justice, Hispanic AIDS Forum, and the New York City Independent Budget Office. After years of working on diverse policy issues, however, Sofia heeded her muse to pursue an entertainment career.
Determined to write edgy yet intelligent novels for women who love hip hop even when hip-hop fails to love them in return, Sofía wrote her debut novel EXPLICIT CONTENT under the pen name Black Artemis. Booklist said of her debut, “Fans of Sister Souljah’s The Coldest Winter Ever will find this debut novel just as tantalizing. . .” Since then Sofia has authored four more novels and almost twice as many short stories and novellas including her award-winning young adult debut EFRAIN’S SECRET (Knopf 2010.)
She recently earned an MFA in writing and producing TV at the TV Writers Studio of Long Island University and contributed the children’s anthology WHAT YOU WISH FOR, the proceeds of which go to build libraries for Darfuri children in Chad. Her journalistic writings have been published in Urban Latino, New York Post, Ms., Cosmopolitan for Latinas and El Diario/La Prensa.
As an educator, she is a writing mentor at Urban Word NYC, a teaching artist at the National Book Foundation’s reading program BookUpNYC and the co-publisher of the hip-hop feminist curriculum Conscious Women Rock the Page. Sofia was nominated for the Women’s Media Center Social Media Award in 2010 and is completing her next young adult novel SHOW AND PROVE.