If Florida is a land of dreams, then it is the perfect place to set stories for children and young adults. Fiction for young people is about day dreaming, make-believe, fantasy, and imagination,
but also about confronting the difficulties that make us grow up. Florida has all those things in abundance.
Carl Hiaasen's young adult novels are fantastic and I would love to see more titles like them published. Florida is also the setting of the mostly forgotten but Newberry Award-winning book
Strawberry Girl, which is a time capsule that captured a time when white farmers and their children harvested the central-Florida strawberry crop before changes to the local school
system forced kids back to school and farmers had to hire migrant workers.
The most surprising thing I have found is the large number of Christmas books, as if the absence of snow required special explanation from parents. In these books, Santa is invariably pictured in
shorts, wearing sunglasses, or at the beach.