SERAFINA x SHIP BREAKER:
In a future California scorched by climate change, 13-year-old Lula’s floating village endures a deadly flash flood every year. When the shackle that keeps her houseboat tethered is stolen moments before the surge, Lula dives in to replace it—only to be swept away. She survives, barely. But the missing shackle means someone tried to kill her. To find the culprit, she teams up with her rival to unearth devastating secrets about her family and the world outside their canyon—secrets that could destroy her village forever.
A whispering breeze prickles the back of my neck like fluttering buttermoth wings. I squeeze my eyes shut and listen to the wind. The flood is coming. Soon. Very soon.
I shudder. The flood always begins with the surge—a twenty-foot wall of water pouring down the eastern cliff, racing across the lakebed at a furious six knots, obliterating the parched soil, and tossing raft houses into the air like deck splinters. As it passes, my heart goes still. I’m afraid the flood will take me. Like it took my mom.
“Lula, come help with this shackle.”
My chest is tight when I open my eyes. Over the railing, Dad is wearing his brown-vinyl apron, recently scavenged from the deadlands, and stoking charcoal in the forge.
I ignore the stern plank and climb down the rope ladder. My footprints stamp the cracked soil as I walk beside our raft house, dust billowing in my wake. Because our raft is on the western edge of the flotilla, in dry season, there’s plenty of room to spread out.
Dad holds the shackle with heat-resistant gloves and steel tongs, pumping air onto the coals with a foot pedal. The curved end glows yellow. “Grab my touchmark stamp over there.”