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The Miseducation of Cameron Post
by Emily M. Danforth
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 14 and up
LEXILE READING LEVEL: 1120L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2012
NO. PAGES: 480
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Female
AWARD{S}:
William C. Morris Finalist
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
ISBN: 0062020560
READ & REVIEWED BY: Jen - StorySnoop


The Story
The Miseducation of Cameron Post—Book Review

After twelve-year-old Cameron Post's parents die in a car crash, she is completely convinced that she caused the accident, even though she was hundreds of miles away. Their deaths can only be punishment for Cam's behavior, because on the day of the crash, she was busy kissing her best friend Irene. Knowing she cannot possibly be Irene's friend any longer, Cam becomes withdrawn, numbing herself with an endless marathon of movies she watches while hiding out in her room; hiding from her ultra-religious aunt Ruth, who has moved in with Cam and her very conventional grandmother. If there's one thing Cam knows, it's that she has to do whatever it takes to bury her feelings about other girls, especially since the church she attends with Aunt Ruth makes it crystal clear that homosexuality will not be tolerated. Denial works for a while but becomes increasingly difficult in high school, when Cam becomes friends with a girl from church--the ultra-popular Coley Taylor. Cam cannot help but fall in love with this beautiful cowgirl who is virtually inseparable from her boyfriend. As Cam and Coley's friendship grows, it unexpectedly evolves into something more. That is until Aunt Ruth, horrified by Cameron's sinful ways, sends her to a special Christian school to be "cured" of her deviant impulses. In a place that is intended to strip its students of their very nature and identity, Cam finally realizes the importance of being true to herself, no matter who she finally discovers that is.
The Scoop
The Miseducation of Cameron Post—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Spanning the years from 1989 to 1993, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a coming of age story about a girl struggling to come to terms with her sexual identity in an environment that is not tolerant of alternative lifestyles. After kissing her best friend, Cameron can't help but feel that her behavior somehow caused her parents' death that very same evening. She finds ways to numb her pain and her sexual impulses in order to fit into a town, church, and family--now led by her pious aunt--that is outspokenly intolerant of homosexuality. Cam throws herself into painstakingly decorating a dollhouse built by her father using trophies from her many shoplifting sprees. She also watches countless movies intended for adults (with lesbian themes whenever possible) as a misguided means of social self-education. Being a teenager is hard enough, but Cam is constantly bombarded with messages from society and those she loves that there is something fundamentally wrong with who she is. Once in high school, Cam adds drinking and pot smoking to her arsenal of tools for escape. While she does some sexual experimentation with another girl and a close boy friend, Cam's blossoming friendship with the popular Coley Taylor is a true turning point. After Cam confesses her feelings to Coley, they begin to experiment sexually and eventually, the two mutually and consensually consumate their relationship. But Coley has a crisis of conscience and exposes the truth about Cam, claiming to be the victim of her "perversion." Cam is ostracized by her beloved grandmother, who agrees with her aunt that the best course of action is to send Cam to a Christian school founded to save teens' souls from a lifetime of sexual deviance. The author effectively uses this setting to point out the absurdity of the belief that homosexuality is an unnatural choice; one that can and must be "fixed." In spite of the staff's best efforts to instill these beliefs, Cam finally realizes that what they are trying to change is not in fact changeable. She becomes determined to fight for herself, even if she needs to run away to give herself the opportunity to come to terms with who she really is. Another student who shares the belief that he cannot be changed mutilates his genitals so that he can never again betray his preacher father's beliefs. Filled with insight and honesty, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a must read for any adolescent who feels alone in questioning their sexual orientation. Language is frequently strong (p-ssed, sh-t, a-shole, h-ll, f--k, d-ckhead, b-tch, p-ssy).
>View our expanded Super Scoop on The Miseducation of Cameron Post
>Book trailer from YouTube:
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