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Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
FSG Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780374307509256 Pages, Ages 12-18
*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?
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.
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