Kissing Tennessee and Other Stories from the Stardust Dance by Kathi Appelt

The best way to describe this book that revolves around the events of an eighth grade dance is “sweet” and “low.” There are some truly sweet moments, like when Peggy Lee REALLY kisses her best friend Tennessee for the first time, or when Russ remembers his first love, Annie P., who he will never be able to kiss again. But these are balanced by the hard-hitting lows of watching Becca Scott relive the horror of her recent date rape, and Mary Sarah hoping that the wearing of a forbidden red ribbon won’t earn her a beating. A good blend of hard and soft tales, despite the somewhat mushy and romantic-al book cover.

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