BECAUSE OF THE SUN by Jenny Torres Sanchez 

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Dani never had a good relationship  with her mother. In fact, it seemed like Dani was just a burden to her mother, an obstacle that prevented her from doing whatever she wanted to do.  Her mom certainly did a lot of what she wanted, though, and with enough different men that she doesn’t know who Dani’s father is.   So when her mother is mauled by a bear in their backyard, Dani thinks she has no one.  She might end up living with the neighbor she barely knows.  But then an aunt she never knew existed whisks her away from the suburbs of Florida to the middle of nowhere New Mexico.  Through a blossoming friendship and the uncovering of her mother’s past, Dani begins to overcome her numbness and build the courage to face the bear that haunts her dreams.  

Well-written, thought-provoking, and engaging, this novel will appeal to teen readers of literary and realistic fiction.  It may also be suitable as a companion to Camus’ The Stranger in a high school curriculum, although profanity may be a concern for some.  

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