The highly anticipated new novel from the winner of the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize examines NYC and America in the burgeoning moments before the start of the Civil War through the eyes of a young biracial girl. In Moon and the Mars, set in the impoverished Five Points district of New York City in the years 1857–1863, we experience neighborhood life through the eyes of Theo from childhood to adolescence, an orphan living between the homes of her Black and Irish grandparents. Throughout her formative years, Theo witnesses everything from the creation of tap dance to P.T. Barnum's sensationalist museum to the draft riots that tear NYC asunder, amidst the daily maelstrom of Five Points work, hardship, and camaraderie. Meanwhile, white America's attitudes towards people of color and slavery are shifting—painfully, transformationally—as the nation divides and marches to war.