One True Way – book review

One True Way
Shannon Hitchcock
Historical Fiction (1977)
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

When Allie Drake and her mom move from New Jersey to North Carolina, Allie makes a friend – Sam – at her new middle school almost immediately. Sam introduces her to all the other kids, facilitates her getting onto the newspaper staff (Allie Drake, Staff Reporter!), and promises to teach her how to ride her horse. They quickly become closer than any other friends either girl has had before. While interviewing folks for an article she’s writing, Allie accidently discovers that two of their school teachers are “roommates,” but that their relationship and their love for one another is a closely held secret. This becomes an issue for Allie, because her feelings for Sam are also more than what she feels for other girl friends, and she realizes – when Webster asks her out – that she doesn’t have any interest in boys at all. Even though the girls are just in the process of identifying and acknowledging their feelings, a lot of the adults panic – Allie’s mom thinks maybe Allie is too young to know what she really wants, and Sam’s mom threatens to expose their gay teachers unless Sam agrees to quit basketball (one of the women is her coach), and stay away from Allie. Allie has some support – Reverend Walker (from her church), and a therapist – who help her talk about her feelings (in addition to liking girls, Allie is also dealing with recent the death of her older brother and the dissolution of her family), but Sam does not. Her mother and her church believe that same sex relationships are wrong. Both girls come to the realization that their sexuality is going to make things harder for them, but want to be true to their real feelings and live honest and authentic lives, and that is what they resolve to do. Published for tweens, grades 6-8.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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