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Florida can seem like a child's dream of paradise: endless sunny days, trips to the beach to swim and build sandcastles, bike riding without a jacket in the middle of January, and magical themeparks only a short drive away. But what was life really like for those who grew up here?

During a recent reunion, writers Bill McKeen, Tim Dorsey, and Jeff Klinkenberg found themselves lamenting that so many of their childhood memories were fading away. For them, and for many, Florida is not just a place people go to, it’s where they come from.

That can mean many things to many people, as the stellar cast of writers, journalists, and musicians eloquently reveal in Homegrown in Florida. This utterly satisfying and powerful anthology aims at the heart of the glories of childhood and the pain of growing up. Both a celebration of the exotic, untamed wilderness of a youth filled with moss-draped oaks and citrus fields, evergreen winters and palmetto fronds, and a reminder that innocence often gave way to experience as bike paths became private developments, and swimming holes were paved over by interstates, Homegrown in Florida is filled with tears and laughter alike.

Featuring contributions from Carl Hiaasen, Tom Petty, Zora Neale Hurston, Michael Connelly, and many more, this is a book for every child of old Florida, and every child at heart.

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