Sister Mischief

Laura Goode. Candlewick, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4640-0
Debut novelist Goode shows she's as much of a "word nerd" as her characters—four juniors bringing their queer-friendly brand of hip-hop to Minnesota's Twin Cities, like it or not. High School Musical this ain't: soon after readers meet Esme, the book's verse-slinging, no-nonsense narrator, she's losing her virginity in the back seat of Charlie Knutsen's Camry, basically to confirm what she already knows: "Definitely a homo. Like Same-Sex City, population Esme." She and her friends Marcy, Rowie, and Tessa are Sister Mischief, a hip-hop crew taking their lead from Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, and other pioneering female rappers. But when they try to form a club devoted to discussing queer and hip-hop culture, they find opposition from school policies and classmates, and a clandestine relationship between Esme and Rowie threatens the group's stability. Conversations about (admittedly important) issues—such as the politics of suburban white girls rapping—can feel forced, but Goode knows her stuff. The girls have an encyclopedic knowledge and deep love of hip-hop, and Esme's emotionally charged rhymes flow freely. If ever a book needed a soundtrack—or a beatbox—this is it. Ages 14–up. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/23/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 384 pages - 978-1-62765-519-4
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-7636-6456-5
Open Ebook - 978-0-7636-5464-1
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