Squad

Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illus. by Lisa Sterle. Greenwillow, $21.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-294314-9
If the popular girls at a Bay Area high school seem overly eager to befriend smart, queer, Asian-cued Becca, they have a specific reason in mind: they’re werewolves in need of another packmate. Every full moon, bubbly blonde Marley; assertive Amanda, cued as Black; and rich, ruthless Arianna, who reads as white, choose one sexually aggressive male as their victim—attacking at the moment when a party hookup turns nonconsensual—and they require a fourth person to help them fully devour their prey. Despite being conscripted into the pack, Becca enjoys the power that comes with the bargain, as well as having an outlet for her anger and hunger. But when Arianna’s trophy boyfriend attacks Becca, she lashes out in wolf form, and the group begins to splinter—Amanda challenges Arianna’s leadership, and Becca crushes on Marley as the FBI searches for the missing boys. Literalizing pack mentality, Tokuda-Hall (The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea) smoothly explores the complexities of so-called sisterhood. Sterle’s (Long Lost, for adults) long, lean characters don neo-1980s and ’90s fashions in art that dovetails with the economical storytelling to create an intersectional examination of high school social dynamics that doesn’t shortchange readers on adventure. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 14–up. Author’s agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/18/2021
Release date: 10/05/2021
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-06-294315-6
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