In 1987, fourteen-year-old Junius Posey sets out on the cold Cambridge (Mass.) streets to find his brother’s killer in a cluster of low-income housing towers—prime drug-dealing territory. After committing a murder to protect his friend, he finds himself without protection from retribution. His mother gives him fifty dollars and instructions to run, but Junius refuses to live a life in hiding. Instead, shocked by the violence he’s created and determined to see its consequences, he returns to the towers to complete his original mission.
Trenchant, devastating, and deftly choreographed, YOUNG JUNIUS has already won raves for its page-turning plot and compelling social commentary. Publishers Weekly writes: “Harwood pulls no punches, revealing not only the white death of crack cocaine but the ineffectuality of… ‘forgotten civic ideas.’ … In the end, Junius’s fate is as old as Aeschylus.” And Booklist adds: “Harwood’s cutaway view of a single bloody day in a housing project is an impressive feat . . . Harwood’s empathy runs deeply indeed.”