of the Center for Children's Books
|The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly
theme-based booklist available as an online-only Bulletin
feature. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin,
we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an
extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even
dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We
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Rah Rah Sis Boom Ba: A Cheerleading Dozen
March madness is upon us, and although basketball can be plenty entertaining, you might want to consider looking toward the sidelines if you’re seeking real excitement. Cheerleaders sometimes get a bad rap in YA literature, but whether they’re playing the part of the queen bee or simply trying to smile their way through high school, they always find a way to bring on the drama.
Nonconformist and talented hacker Toby Klein has never had any use for her school’s perky cheerleaders, but when she discovers that the squad is really just a cover for elite governments spies, she hopes to use her computer skills and a few choice kickboxing moves to earn a spot on the team. (BCCB 03/08)
Dessen, Sarah. Dreamland. Speak, 2000. Gr. 7-10
When Caitlin’s attempts at pep and cheer become too exhausting in the face of her sister’s absence, she turns Rogerson, a bad boy with a temper, and soon finds that her dreams of a perfect boyfriend can quickly turn into a nightmare. (BCCB 10/00)
James, Brian. Zombie Blondes. Fiewel and Friends, 2008. Gr. 7-10
The cheerleaders at Hannah’s new school are perfect clichés: tall, blonde, and beautiful, these girls get whatever they want. Since they also happen to be flesh-eating zombies, what they want is plenty of tasty humans and they expect Hannah to either help them get fed or become dinner herself. (BCCB 9/08)
Math nerd Rhonda has spent the two years since her abortion hiding behind numbers and food. When she discovers that the popular cheerleader she has been tutoring is concealing her own unwanted pregnancy, Rhonda is forced to confront the repercussions of her experience if she is to help a friend through a similar situation. (BCCB 2/08)
Sisters Savvy and Callie have always been athletic and when the family moves to a small Rhode Island town, the pair score top spots on the teams of their chosen sports; at six feet, Savvy is a perfect choice for the basketball team while Callie is chosen for the cheerleading squad. When steroids are discovered in Savvy’s bag, however, the family’s integrity is put to the test. (BCCB 10/08)
Mitchard, Jacquelyn. All We Know of Heaven: A Novel. HarperTeen, 2008. Gr. 7-10
Best friends Bridget Flannery and Maureen O'Malley are in a horrific car crash on their way to cheerleading practice, but after one girls dies at the hospital, a terrible situation turns even more tragic when the comatose survivor is misidentified. Based on true events. (BCCB 6/08)
Plum-Ucci, Carol. What Happened to Lani Garver. Harcourt, 2002. Gr. 9-12
To most observers, Claire McKenzie’s high school career is ideal: a popular cheerleader with plenty of friends and plenty of smarts, she has it all. Lani Garver, a mysterious new student, however, sees right through Claire’s façade and helps confront her mother’s alcoholism and her own eating disorder. (BCCB 11/02).
Price, Charlie. Dead Connection. Roaring Brook, 2006. Gr. 7-10
Since the voices of the dead tend to be a bit more responsive than his prostitute mother, sixteen year old Murray spends his days communing with the souls in his local cemetery. When a new voice interrupts the graveyard’s serenity, Murray becomes convinced it is the spirit of a cheerleader recently gone missing from his town. (BCCB 9/06)
Scott, Kieran. I Was a Non-blonde Cheerleader. Putnam, 2005. Gr. 7-10
A brunette in a sea of blondes, newbie Annisa doesn’t make life an easier for herself when she inadvertently attracts the head cheerleader’s boyfriend, making her chances to earn a spot on the squad at her new school slim at best. (BCCB 4/05)
Sharenow, Robert. My Mother Cheerleader: A Novel. Geringer Books, 2007. Gr. 6-9
In 1960 New Orleans, thirteen year old Louise is proud that her mother is part of the “Cheerleaders,” a group of middle aged white women organized against the racial integration of their children’s schools. When an intriguing stranger challenges Louise to form her own opinions about the situation, Louise is taken aback by the horrific violence and hatred created by the group. (BCCB 9/07)
Shreve, Susan. Blister. Levine, 2001. Gr. 5-8
When Alyssa’s parents check out emotionally after a devastating loss, she fashions a new persona for herself called Blister and decides to try out for the fifth grade cheerleading squad as an attempt at normalcy. (BCCB 11/01)
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This page was last updated on March 1, 2010.