Author: Kathi Appelt
Summary from Goodreads:
Mason and Carrie Marie can’t get up the courage to ask each other to dance. Russ’s girlfriend has died, and now he’s just trying to live without her. Peggy Lee has grown up with Tennessee—how can she ever think of him as more than a friend?
In these moving tales and others, Kathi Appelt captures the sometimes amusing, sometimes touching missteps of some unforgettable students, who come together one last time for the most memorable night of their young lives.
The first time I read this book, I was in Middle School. I loved it then and a couple of the stories just stuck with me through the years. I had forgotten the title of the book, but I could never forget a few of the stories. Years later, while in University, I tried to find the book again, but I could not remember for the life of me what it was called. Finally, I found it by chance. I borrowed it from the library, and discovered that it was just as good the second time as it was the first time.
Kissing Tennessee is made up of a series of short stories surrounding the kids at the Stardust Dance in a middle school. The book starts with an invitation to attend the dance and then ends with a poem from the janitor as she cleans up the glitter from the dance. In between are stories that are both happy and sad. There are stories of death and rape and abuse as well as stories of first kisses and finding yourself. These are real issues that teenagers are faced with today.
The stories are so dynamic and so real that they stick with you days after you have finished reading it. It is a short book with only just over 100 pages. I recommend that if you have a library card and your library has this book, that you borrow it and read it. It shouldn’t take more than two to three hours but it will stick with you in your hear for a long time.