Juvenile Fiction

Science Fiction

Available: October 20, 2015 | ISBN 9781631630545 | paperback | 304 pages | 5.5 in. x 8.25 in. | World (translation, audiobook, media rights) | $15.99 US (trade paperback), $8.99 US (e-book)
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by Mark Magro

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Sixteen-year-olds Zoe and Balt have lived in a mysterious underground research institute all their lives. Now they must escape and find their way to the surface in order to learn once and for all the truth the institute and the fate of the human race. But are they ready to learn the truth about themselves?

After a nuclear war has ravaged the planet, children of the few survivors are sent to renowned scientist Dr. Parkman and his underground facility, Parkman Institute of Science and Solutions, to learn, create, and test the latest technologies until they turn 18 and are sent back to the surface to help rebuild society. Balt and Zoe, 16-year-old students, have begun to realize something is amiss when Zoe is given a glimpse of an entirely different reality during a freak accident, one completely foreign to what Parkman has always described to his students.

With the help of Balt and his midterm robotics project, the talkative head of an A.I. called Smith, the three devise a plan to escape the institute and travel through the ruins of the old labs to get to the surface. As they draw closer to their destination, they begin to see that their biggest threat might be each other. The old lab is full of secrets, and some answers are perhaps better left buried.

Surfacing tells the story of two teens in search of the truth—of who they are and what awaits them in the world above—exploring ideas of truth, perception, love, and trust.


“This story will appeal to readers who like science fiction as well as dystopian settings. Magro is masterful at world-building and creating characters that readers will love. Starting off with an example of the ‘training’ that teenagers are subjected to will shock and hook even the most reluctant reader. As a teacher of adolescents, Magro knows how to create a fast-paced story that will appeal to teenagers. He weaves in humor and fearful scenarios simultaneously, leaving the reader anticipating the next twist in the story. The inclusion of artificial intelligence as a character is genius. Told from the alternating points of view of Balt and Zoe (in short chapters), the story will leave readers clamoring for more.” —VOYA