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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

14 February 2017

South of Sunshine

South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf is the story of first love.

Senior Kaycee McCoy is tired of attempting to date boys. She has no interest in them. She just needs to stay hidden until the end of the school year. Then she will start breaking free of Sunshine, Tennessee.

But her plan begins to fall apart as soon as she sees the new student. Bren Dawson, from Boston, has lived all over the place. Even in Africa. She is tall and beautiful and stands out because of her skin. Her mother is Cuban.

Kaycee tries to avoid Bren. But then she wonders if she will be too obvious by not being her friend. Van and Sarabeth, Kaycee's best friends since childhood start to notice her strange behavior. Van, who is not closeted, but is not shouting to the small conservative town that he is gay wants Kaycee to admit to him her feelings. Sarabeth is acting strange and trying to force a new boyfriend on Kaycee.

Elmendorf has written a beautiful coming out story with a brave and wonderful ending.

Elmendorf, Dana. (2016). South of Sunshine. Illinois: Albert Whitman & Co.

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