KISSING TENNESSEE, by Kathi Appelt
Interest Level: Upper Grades
A menagerie of short stories, all centering around one event—the Stardust Dance at Dogwood Middle School. Some of the stories include a boy questioning his sexuality, a girl remembering her upbringing in sadistically fundamentalist home, a boy trying to forget his dead girlfriend and move on, and a girl working up the courage to report that she’s been raped by the star athlete and most popular boy in town. Each one of these stories finds its way into the reader’s heart—I loved this book. It's a great, quick read that I was not able to put down.