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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Squad

Squad

Mariah MacCarthy

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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*A Barnes & Noble Teen Blog's Most Anticipated LGBTQAP YA Book of 2019*

Jenna Watson is a cheerleader. And she wants you to know it’s not some Hollywood crap: they are not every guy’s fantasy. They are not the “mean girls” of Marsen High School. They’re literally just human females trying to live their lives and do a perfect toe touch. And their team is at the top of their game. They’re a family.

But all that changes when Jenna’s best friend stops talking to her. Suddenly, she’s not getting invited out with the rest of the squad. She’s always a step behind. And she has no idea why.

While grappling with post-cheer life, Jenna explores things she never allowed herself to like, including LARPing (live action role playing) and a relationship with a trans guy that feels a lot like love.

When Jenna loses the sport and the friends she’s always loved, she has to ask herself: What else is left?

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I just woke up one morning and forgot how to do everything. I didn’t have a stroke, or an accident, or get diagnosed with a disability; it’s just that one moment everything was easy, and the next it wasn’t.

I’m...

Praise for Squad

*A Washington Blade Springs Arts 2019 Book List Pick*

"An openhearted debut that, like Jenna herself, has wonderfully surprising depth." —Booklist

"Plenty of books for young readers take on the subject of overt, aggressive bullying; this novel follows a less traveled and surprisingly substantive theme of a girl whose sense of self, forged in a pressure cooker of high expectations, is challenged in ways that cause her to misread situations and transform, momentarily, into a bully herself." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Upon finishing this book, I realized it was the first cheerleader narrative I have read that shows their lives beyond the glamour, as the featured cheerleaders create meaningful ties with Live Action Role Players (LARPers) and queer culture."—Lithium Magazine

Reviews from Goodreads

Mariah MacCarthy

Mariah MacCarthy is an award-winning writer, performer, and birth mother. They’ve written for BuzzFeed, Yes! magazine, LOOK magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and others. Their plays have been performed all over the world, and the New York Times called their immersive party play Mrs. Mayfield’s Fifth-Grade Class of ’93 20-Year Reunion “a lot of fun.” They live in Astoria with their cat, Sophie. Squad is their first novel.

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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