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All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Ascender, Volume 1: The Haunted Galaxy by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Dear Martin by Nic Stone Death by Tea by Alex Erickson
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The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee
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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Robin Mayhall
Heartwood Hotel: Home Again by Kallie George
The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire Part Three by Michael Dante DiMartino
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
Lyle and the Birthday Party by Bernard Waber
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Nate Expectations by Tim Federle
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Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn and Nicole Goux
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
This is Rome by Miroslav Sasek
The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower
We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian
When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

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We Are the Wildcats: 04/04/20

We Are the Wildcats

We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian takes place in twenty-four hours leading up to the first scrimmage of the year for the girls' field hockey team. During a night of pranks the team will become closer than ever and learn some unsettling things about their coach.

Traditionally the captain hosts a sleepover for the team for a night of bonding. In the past all the night's events would be at the captain's house. There would be a catered meal, a speech, a movie, and lights out by ten.

But not this year.

Coach's unexpected arrival throws the plans into disarray. He makes a speech stating his disappointment in the team. Had he stopped there, the rest of the novel would have been about the girls deciding to do a multistep prank to reenact the lines to their fight song.

There's a scene upstairs after the speech that as an adult made me see clearly that Coach wasn't the perfect person the Wildcats players perceived him to be. He asks for the number from one of the youngest players on the team and then gives her his. It's the start of a plan where he wants her spying on the rest of the team and reporting back to him.

No adult in a place of leadership, especially for a team of minors, should play one member against the others. No adult should ask a minor, even one who is close to becoming an adult, to keep a secret. There's too much at stake for the minor.

While I can see that, a teen reading We Are the Wildcats might not. They will discover how devious adults who have their trust can, unfortunately, be. It will be an eye-opening read.

Four stars

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