North Carolina Simon hates her name. As a fourteen-year-old girl growing up in the 1970s, she has a lot of challenges. People not only make fun of her name but also scoff at her eccentric family. Dad's a hoarder, Mom's an unpredictable artist, and her older sister lives with an autism diagnosis. After a humiliating middle school event shatters her confidence as a singer, North determines to break free from the stigma surrounding her family.
As she starts high school, North tells people to call her Carol. Armed with a new name, she updates her hair and clothes, befriends a popular boy in hopes of joining his band, distances herself from her two longtime friends, and avoids being seen with her adoring and dependent sister. Everything seems to be going according to plan until her sister suddenly disappears. Carol is forced to face the fact that fitting in and being popular have come at a cost and that the sister she might lose could have the answer to what she's been looking for all along.
Finding True North is a prequel to Sticks and Stones, but each can be read as a stand-alone novel.