There are two things Nieve has always been sure of: her best friend, Manny, and her fascination with outer space. It’s 1985, and for the first time NASA will send a teacher along with a team of astronauts into outer space. When an essay contest pulls Nieve into the orbit of teacher-turned-astronaut Christa McAuliffe, Nieve’s dream of seeing the stars for herself seems closer than ever. Except, as Nieve turns to the stars, everything else falls apart: Just as sparks begin to fly with Manny, she loses him to new friends at school—including his beautiful new girlfriend, Shannon. With the Challenger launch date approaching, Nieve learns that time never stops moving forward and nothing lasts forever—but what’s on the other side may be more beautiful than she has ever imagined. At 65,000 words, STARDUST IN THE WIND is historical YA found at the intersection of Pretty in Pink, The Edge of Seventeen, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.
Most stars travel in pairs, orbiting one another—they’re called binary stars, and some of them travel so closely together that their gases and dust flow from one to the other, so you might not even know which is which. That’s how Manny and I are. It’s how we’ve always been.
Our night swimming spot is a mile from my house on Highway 22, past the graffiti-filled rock walls that line that part of the highway. It’s just after the TONY THE DRUNK IS A THIEF, when the wall breaks up and opens to Lake Champlain.
The humidity clings like Velcro on the night everything starts to change. We climb to the top of the cliff wall, lie across the flat top, and call our bets.
“27,” Manny says.
That’s how many cars we guess will pass in the next hour.