cover image The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Emily M. Danforth. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-202056-7

In Danforth’s impressive debut, a teenage girl processes her sexual awakening as a lesbian against the backdrop of her parents’ sudden death in a car accident. Cam’s reckoning with her sexuality develops through a series of vignette-like early chapters that focus on the girls that come and go in Cam’s life—and there are several of them—creating narrative moments that will have teens rereading the sexy bits like an earlier generation did with Judy Blume’s Forever. The story is riveting, beautiful, and full of the kind of detail that brings to life a place (rural Montana), a time (the early 1990s), and a questioning teenage girl. Halfway through, the novel makes an abrupt turn when Cam’s secret is revealed, and her evangelical Aunt Ruth sends her off to God’s Promise, a residential school designed to help teens “break free from... sexual sin and confusion by welcoming Jesus Christ into their lives.” Danforth’s story gains even more complexity and dimension from this shift, further developing the political, religious, and coming-of-age themes introduced in the first half. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Feb.) ■