The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth, is Cameron's story immediately following the death of her parents when she is twelve years old.

The story begins in the summer of 1989, when she kisses a girl for the first time. The girl is her best friend, Irene Klauson.

She is spending the night with Irene at her parents' cattle ranch when the phone call comes. The girls know it's too late at night to be good news. They soon hear Irene's mother crying, and her dad's footsteps nearing the bedroom door. He tells Cameron that he needs to take her back to town to her grandmother, who is staying with her while her parents are on vacation.
   
Mr. Klauson won't tell her what's wrong that can't wait until morning, only that her grandmother needed to speak with her, and that Cameron needed to be with her when she did.

She decides on the long, and mostly silent, trip home that somehow her grandmother had found out about the kissing, and Cameron tried to think what she might say to defend herself. What would her grandmother say to her? What would her parents say when they got home? Perhaps they were already on their way back.

When they get to the house, and her grandmother tells her there has been a car accident and that her mom and dad are both dead, the first thing that comes to Cameron's mind is that nobody knew about her and Irene, and now her parents would never have to know.

Then came the guilt. How could she think such things when she'd just been told her parents were dead?

Her relationship with Irene changes after that. Cameron can't let herself go back to the way things had been between them, or even to be her friend anymore, although Irene reached out to her several times. 

Her grandmother moves in, and so does her Aunt Ruth, who becomes Cameron's legal guardian.

Aunt Ruth soon decides they need to change churches. Cameron's parents only occasionally attended the Presbyterian church, but Aunt Ruth had other ideas, and they all went nearly every Sunday after the funeral.

But she doesn't like this church much, and after a few months she tells Cameron that First Presbyterian isn't 'quite right' for them anymore, and wants to move to one called "Gates of Praise". She names several people they all knew who go there, and says "it might be nice for Cammie to hang out with some Christian teens".

When Coley Taylor comes to town, she and Cameron become fast friends, and later, something more than friends...

When Aunt Ruth learns what's going on between them, Cameron is sent to a camp called "God's Promise", a "Christian school and outreach center for adolescents yearning to break free from sexual sin and confusion by welcoming Jesus Christ into their lives", according to the brochure.

The rest of the book is about Cameron's stay at the camp.



A Delaware school district voted 6-1 to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post from a high school's reading list. The Cape Henlopen school board sited "complaints about profanity" as the reason for doing so.

I tend to think it's not so much about 'profanity'; many books for teenagers have more of it than this one. I suspect it's more about homosexuality and how the "God's Promise" camp was portrayed in the book.

Many conservatives firmly believe in "reparative therapy". Or they say they do, anyway. I think the vote was more about conservative religious views than about "profanity".

The school board refused to lift the ban. Instead, it eliminated the summer reading list, leaving students to read whatever they wanted to. I hope they all read The Miseducation of Cameron Post!



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