2020 Gold Medal for Adventure Fiction
Living Now Book Awards
2021 Bronze Medal for Best Author Website
Ernest is a twelve-year-old boy growing up on Earth in the Twenty-Second Century, an Earth that exists free of poverty, bigotry, famine, or war. The citizens of Earth live in peace, traveling the cosmos as readily as they once navigated country highways; but Ernest is separated from his family on one such trip and finds himself on a planet eerily similar to Earth’s past, with the exception of its red- and blue-skinned inhabitants. Ernest befriends a red boy named Dat, and he is forced to live in a world of racial tension and division the likes of which he has never known. Ernest operates as both an observer and a participant in the struggles around him, all while facing the challenges of growing up. Ernest and his friend Dat face bullies and a sense of isolation. They learn of tragedy and friendship, and they are thrown into a powerful legal battle that continues to shape their understanding of existence and their places in it. Ernest’s experiences leave him torn between his desire to return to his family and his idyllic life and the kinship he has formed with his adopted family, especially as they struggle through a glaringly unjust world. Ultimately, Ernest begins to question what is really right, and if his own world is as perfect as it seems.
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