On My Bookshelf: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth

December 30, 2019

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Cameron Post is a stunning read about a young girl who loses her parents and realizes her sexual identity in the same day. Her aunt and grandmother take over her care as she wrestles with the guilt of her desires and is eventually forced to attend a conversion therapy program. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone, and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship, one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not quite sure who that is.

Why I liked it: The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning read about a young girl who loses her parents and realizes her sexual identity in the same day. Her aunt and grandmother take over her care as she wrestles with the guilt of her desires and is eventually forced to attend a conversion therapy program.

What I loved most about Cameron was her youth and innocence. When she first kisses a girl, who also happens to be her best friend, she doesn't have a name for the feelings she has. She struggles to try to fit into the mold of a "typical" girl, but has more male friends than female ones and throws herself into athletics as an outlet. As she grows older, she engages in very few relationships with other girls, but each time she does, she opens herself up to the judgement and worse, condemnation of her community.

Classroom application: The first section of the novel would be appropriate for middle school, but as Cameron progresses into high school, the more mature content makes this novel overall more appropriate for high school. I haven't seen it yet, but the book has recently become a Sundance film so a comparison could be done between the two.

After reading, I would highly encourage a discussion about the dangers of conversion therapy.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of The Miseducation of Cameron Post for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Cameron Post is a stunning read about a young girl who loses her parents and realizes her sexual identity in the same day. Her aunt and grandmother take over her care as she wrestles with the guilt of her desires and is eventually forced to attend a conversion therapy program. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

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