The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake

This is simply the sweetest story.

Sunny St. James is dealing with more than a typical twelve-year-old, but after receiving a heart transplant, she is adamant about her goals for the summer:

“Step One: Do awesome amazing things I could never do before. Step Two: Find a new best friend. Step Three: Find a boy and kiss him.”

New heart- new life. With her new heart, there’s no reason to feel the things she felt before, which included an interest in girls.  She doesn’t know how to talk about these feelings, and tries to bury them… though they escape into her journal as poetry. 

We need more LGBTQIA+ coming of age stories. This book captures the loneliness of queer kids and the fear of embracing their true selves. Sunny shows us how frightening it can be to think you are alone. Her bravery will speak to the hearts that need her and make allies out of the rest of us. Whether this is a mirror book or a window book for the reader, it’s about humanity and love. Love for your family (who can be CHOSEN). Love for your REAL friends. Queer love and all those beautifully awkward FIRSTS. I am happy for all the little girls that will read this and recognize themselves in the story- the protagonist or the ally. Wonderfully written!

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