THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND FLOTATION
While details of Teague’s alternative, watery Arkansas may be disorienting at first, readers who persevere will be rewarded with a rich, insightful, ambitiously inventive coming-of-age tale that will fire the imagination and capture the heart. Though the specific goals of Teague’s fiercely determined heroine may be unique, her dogged determination and occasional desperation are perfectly recognizable, keeping readers’ engagement high throughout her exploits. The delightfully quirky details of this setting combine to create a richly textured world that readers will find difficult to leave behind, and the beautifully flawed and fully realized characters will linger long after the final page has turned.
When the Sea of Santiago appeared overnight in a cow pasture in rural Arkansas, many saw it as a religious miracle. For A.Z. McKinney, determined to become the first oceanographer to explore its depths, the sea holds all her hopes and dreams. Having found a first mate in a cute artist named Kristoff, A.Z. begins building a boat to study the sea secretly. But as distractions — from crocodiles to fights with her best friend — begin threatening A.Z.’s dreams, she is forced realize that sometimes you have to sink before you can swim. (SKYHORSE, Mar., 304 pp., $24.99)