South of Sunshine

Kaycee Jean McCoy has lived her entire life in Sunshine, Tennessee. Sweet tea flows through her veins and “yes ma’am” is ingrained in her DNA. In Sunshine, going to church is basically mandatory, and gay had better be your mood and not your sexual orientation. Kaycee may not agree with the town’s socially accepted bigotry, but she’d rather fit in—even if it means letting gross Dave Bradford kiss her on occasion—than make waves. That is, until the beautiful, sexy, impossibly cool Bren Dawson moves into town. Kaycee is swept up in a whirlwind of exciting new emotions and lets her guard down. One night under a fat country moon, Kaycee’s best friend catches them kissing, and Kaycee’s whole world goes to hell in a handbasket. What is she willing to risk for the sake of love? And what will she risk for acceptance?

  • 256 Pages
  • 5.5" x 8.25"
  • 9780807575680
  • April 2016

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 256 Pages
  • 5.5" x 8.25"
  • 9780807575710
  • April 2017

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807575697
  • May 2016

Other Places to Buy


  • Readers will relate to both Kaycee’s desire for secrecy and Bren’s desire for acknowledgement, which provides the novel’s most believable tension.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • The novel’s biggest strength is the way it allows characters to grow and change as they reevaluate what it means to be a friend, parent, or resident of Sunshine. A compelling portrait of a small-town teen learning that she doesn’t have to choose between loving her roots and loving who she really is.

    - Booklist Online

  • The tumultuous coming out and secret romance with Bren will resonate with readers, as will the effects on the teen’s friendships.

    - School Library Journal

Common Core

RL.11-12.1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10 SL.11-12.1,1c,1d,3,4,5,6 L.11-12.3,4,5 W.11-12.1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,9a,10