cover image Home Field Advantage

Home Field Advantage

Dahlia Adler. Wednesday, $19.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-76584-0

Bubbly cheerleader Amber McCloud falls for star quarterback Jaclyn “Jack” Walsh in Adler’s (Cool for the Summer) winning queer take on the classic meet-cute. Sixteen-year-old white Amber only wants two things: to become captain of her cheer squad and to stay in the closet. Well on her way to accomplishing the first, she keeps any potential outing at bay by fake-dating gay, also-closeted classmate Miguel Santiago, who is Cuban American. Newcomer Jack, 16 and white, just wants to play football; Jack’s excited about her appointment as Atherton High’s newest quarterback, until the team realizes she’s a girl and conspires to make her life miserable. As front-runner for cheer captain, Amber is expected to help her peers drive Jack out and uphold tradition in their small, South Florida school. But as Amber and Jack grow closer, Amber must decide if maintaining the status quo is worth giving up the opportunity to be her authentic self. Alternating between Amber and Jack’s perspectives, this insightful and thought-provoking story astutely addresses the anti-queer attitude of the teens’ community while empathically highlighting the painstaking efforts queer youth may make to “fit in” while denying their true selves. Ages 13–up. Agent: Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary. (June)