Published by Scholastic
Summary: Allison’s life has been in turmoil since her older brother died in a car accident, a tragedy that has led to her parents’ decision to divorce. She moves with her mom to North Carolina, and immediately finds a new best friend, Samantha, or Sam. As the girls get closer, Allie starts to realize her feelings for Sam are more than friendship, which seems unacceptable in 1977 North Carolina. Two gay women teachers and an understanding woman pastor help Allie to accept herself and to try to support Sam as she faces hostility in her conservative Christian home. An author’s note explains more about Allie’s experiences, including Anita Bryant’s anti-homosexual campaign of that time, and how she (the author) came to write the book. 208 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: A sympathetic look at a 12-year-old girl struggling to understand her sexuality in a fairly hostile environment. LGBQT tweens and their friends will relate to Allie’s experiences in middle school and her community.
Cons: This felt like a book with a message, and some of the characters, like Sam’s mother and the pastor were fairly one-dimensional.