Best Cheerleading Books
Just say the word “cheerleader” and you’ll generate some intense — and often conflicting — reactions. In some schools, cheerleading is a respected sport, requiring pre-practice workouts, weekly time on the weight machines, and extreme acrobatic skill. In other schools, it’s . . . slightly less active. As someone who spent years cheering and competing, I’ve heard it all. I’ve also read it all, because it seems like there are cheerleading-themed books for every type of reader out there.
So I present to you, my top five picks for the best books about cheerleading! They’re all different, but that’s the beauty of books. So all you STACKS fans, gimme a V! A! R! I! E! T! Y!
5. Fear Street’s Cheerleaders: The First Evil, The Second Evil, and The Third Evil by R. L. Stine (for ages 12 and up)
It just doesn't get any cooler than evil cheerleaders. And as a cheerleader whose sister was also a cheerleader, I can totally relate to Bobbi and Corky, the main characters of this book — you know, except for the evil demon possession thing. I won’t give any spoilers, but readers, be warned: it’s a Fear Street book, which means there’s no shortage of scares (I’m still not over the locker room scene). And it’s a cheerleading book, so there’s no shortage of pom-poms. Keep a night light on when you read this one!
4. The Revenge of the Cheerleaders by Janette Rallison
The sequel to All’s Fair in Love, War and High School features familiar characters like Chelsea, the popular cheerleader, and Rick, who seems to have it out for the entire cheerleading squad. With the help of her squad and some unexpected allies, Chelsea decides to make Rick pay for humiliating her, but revenge isn’t always sweet. Rallison has a much more realistic take on the stereotypical tensions that exist between cheerleaders and those who hate them, and I appreciate the witty dialogue and her multi-dimensional characters — in other words, the cheerleaders in this book aren’t airheads, and the non-cheerleaders aren’t unpopular. A must-read for any middle-schooler, high-schooler, cheerleader, or non-cheerleader!
3. The Salem Witch Tryouts by Kelly McClymer
A book about a witch who is also a cheerleader? Honestly, it's like it was written just for me. Pru fits the cheerleader type typically enough, with her popularity, great grades, and surefire path to captain-dom. But then her brother has to go mess everything up with his magic! Tobias can’t control his spells, so the family is forced to move so Pru and Tobias can attend a special witch school. The problem is, at the new school even the cheerleading squad uses magic, and Pru’s skills aren’t quite up to snuff. It’s a familiar story about fitting in, but with a nice, magical twist. And I found myself wishing my squad could have used magic back in the day . . .
2. I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader by Kieran Scott
Remember The Baby-sitters Club Super Special #5: California Girls! when Mallory dyed her hair blonde so she would fit in to the California mold? I feel like Mallory and Annisa, the protagonist in this book, would be friends, because Annisa is the only non-blonde at her new Florida high school. A New Jersey transplant, Annisa can’t wait to be on the cheerleading squad, but a disastrous first day means her teammates aren’t exactly laying out the welcome mat for her. In terms of cheerleading descriptors, this book is no joke — the competition is fierce, the moves are tough, and the cheerleaders are serious athletes.
1. Cheerleaders #1: Trying Out by Caroline B. Cooney
An oldie but goodie. These books were outdated even when I was reading them in middle school, so I’m sure most of you STACKS readers haven’t read them — but seriously, this first book in the series is the perfect cheerleading read: stressful tryouts, the haves versus the have-nots, strict coaches, and villains out for revenge (i.e. the girl who didn’t make the squad is determined to get revenge). Some of the terminology for the cheerleading stunts is outdated (wagon wheels? And do cheerleaders even do pike jumps these days?), but the dialogue and drama still hold up.
So, that’s my list of Best Books About Cheerleading. Leave a comment and tell me what I missed!
— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer