A girl wants to play football.
Well, not quite all. Mara wants to be herself. And that self wants to play football, among other things.
Mara isn't trying to make a statement. She doesn't want to be political, and although she knows she's gay, she doesn't want to come out -- not yet, not until she is far away from her hometown.
But when other athletic girls also want to join the football team -- and when one of them is out, and political -- there is no "just". The girls' decisions prove to be a crucible for everyone involved: coaches, football players, siblings, parents, and of course the girls themselves. Many fail, and cause harm. Some rise to the challenge. Everyone is changed by the experience.
Friendship, romance, self-acceptance, identity, sexuality, gender, adult support, adult betrayal, leadership, morality, ethics -- all those themes and more are woven through Like Other Girls. And all through interesting characters, realistic and compelling plot lines, with humour and with passion.
Like Other Girls is one of the most fully realized and well written YAs I have read in many years. Cheers to Britta Lundin! I hope we see many more wonderful books from her.
I had Rebecca read this post, and she agreed that it sounds perfect for my grandson, who just turned twelve.
Oh wonderful! I'd love to know if he enjoys it.
I will let you know. Do you know any good mystery writers for kids his age? He is supposed to pick a book from a genre he usually doesn't read as part of his summer reading assignment, and I thought a mystery might be a good choice.
If he's reading YA (sounds like he is), I'd go straight to Karen McManus. The first book in the series is One of Us Is Lying, then Two Can Keep a Secret, then One of Us Is Next. These are the best teen mysteries/thrillers, and one of the few that are not heavily weighted towards girls.
YA publishing has a reverse sexism -- 90% of what's published assumes boys don't read anything but fantasy.
Thanks!! I will take a look. Nate likes reading about teens from different places with different backgrounds, sci-fi, humor, fantasy, etc. He's interested in history, tech stuff, you name it. :)
That is sooooo wonderful.
Yeah, he's pretty wonderful! (But I know I am biased...) Next I should look for books for his 8 year old sibling (who for a year has said they're non-binary). :) They are interesting kids for sure.
There's a small flood of books about nonbinary kids these days, if they want that. And some really horrible must-to-avoid books that I hope your library does not have in their collection.
OK, I will take a look. Thanks!
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