High Skies

Daugherty’s engrossing latest (after the collection American Originals) focuses on the small community of Midland, Tex., in the late 1950s as it reels from severe weather, Cold War paranoia, and school integration. Troy, the asthmatic protagonist, is 10 when his mother is first stricken by a migraine during a dust storm. At school, Troy helps his friend Stevie, who has arthritis, get on the ground during “duck and cover” drills. And when the school board moves to convert an abandoned Quonset hut on school property into classroom space for students from a neighboring Black high school that was damaged in a storm, local tensions come to a head.

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