When the Sea of Santiago appeared overnight in a cow pasture in Arkansas, it seemed, to some, a religious miracle. But to high school sophomore A.Z. McKinney, it's marked her chance to make history — as its first oceanographer. All she needs is to get out on the water.
"Teague is a strong feminist penman to watch.”―Booklist (starred review)
Her plan is easier said than done, considering the Sea's eccentric owner is only interested in its use as a tourist destination for beachgoers and devout pilgrims. Still, A.Z. is determined to uncover the secrets of the Sea--even if it means smuggling saline samples in her bathing suit. Yet when a cute, conceptual artist named Kristoff moves to town, A.Z. realizes she may have found a first mate. Together, they make a plan to build a boat and study the Sea in secret. But from fighting with her best friend to searching for a tourist-terrorizing alligator (that may or may not be a crocodile), distractions are everywhere. Soon, A.Z.'s dreams are in danger of being dashed upon the shore of Mud Beach. With her self-determined oceanic destiny on the line, A.Z. finds herself at odds with everything she thought she knew about life, love, and the Sea. To get what she wants, she'll have to decide whether to sink or float . . . But which one comes first?
Alexandra Teague is the author of the novel The Principles Behind Flotation (Skyhorse, 2017) and two books of poetry—The Wise and Foolish Builders (Persea, 2015) and Mortal Geography (Persea, 2010), winner of the 2009 Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and 2010 California Book Award. She is also co-editor of the anthology Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence (Beacon 2017). The recipient of a 2006-08 Stegner Fellowship and a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Alexandra is an Associate Professor in the MFA program at University of Idaho and an editor for Broadsided Press.