Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Accidental Cheerleader

The Accidental Cheerleader (Candy Apple Book)
Mimi McCoy
Scholastic, 2007
$5.99, Paperback
May 3rd, 2012

Genre: Realistic, School Story, Sports
Age: 9+
Description: Sophie and her best friend Kylie are the definition of opposites attracting. Sophie is pretty reserved and shy while Kylie is outgoing and the spotlight of attention. When Kylie gets the crazy idea that they should try out for cheerleading together (as they must try out in pairs) Sophie reluctantly agrees. However, since Kylie can barely do a cartwheel without falling over and Sophie was a gymnast for nearly ten years, Sophie ends up making the squad while Kylie, because of her comical performance, gets asked to be the mascot—a the Meridian Mules. Attending practices without Kylie, Sophie at first feels like an outsider amidst the confident, popular, and petty cheerleaders, but gradually gets sucked into their superficial social sphere. The plot takes a big turn when Sophie suddenly finds herself shunned by her old and new friends after she dances with a star football player at a school dance—the same boy Kylie has long had a crush and whom the head cheerleader dated the previous year. Soon Kylie, in anger, embarrasses the whole cheerleading squad at a peep rally before the big game of the year and gets suspended. During the big game the substitute mascot isn’t cheering anyone up as they’ve come to adore Kylie’s antics and the team is losing big time. Can Sophie convince her fellow teammates to let Kylie come back for the big game and can she convince Kylie that she didn’t mean anything with the dance and that she wants her best friend back?
Opinion: While I’ve read the Poison Apple books (a line focusing on stories with a supernatural twist) and am eagerly awaiting the new Rotten Apple imprint (out in August with a focus on zombies) this was another book (actually the first) in the Candy Apple line which is marketed as “sweet, fresh, fun, take a bite!” While as a series one would expect the quality to waiver from book to book with different authors writing them, it was actually quite entertaining. It’s nothing new to the genre but the writing is lively and the characters are engaging enough. It was a super fun read.

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