Practice Girl

Viking. May 2022. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593350911.
Gr 9 Up–High school senior Josephine “Jo” Beckett wants romance and love, but having sex as a means to find love is turning her life into a chaotic mess. When she is slapped with the label “practice girl” by a guy on the wrestling team, the misogynistic, shaming insult rocks her to her core. Determined to get even, she joins the wrestling team herself, becoming the first female member—this allows her to reconnect to a sport she once excelled at, when her father was alive and coached her as one of the “Little Wrestlers.” Getting back into shape means strength training, a strict diet, and daily team practices. She trusts no one except Sam, a childhood pal who cares, although he didn’t stand up for her when he should have. Enter Leah, the best friend Jo lost in a fog of grief after losing her dad. Leah’s no-nonsense approach to reestablishing their bond requires another commitment: Leah wants her help on the school dance committee. When she reluctantly joins, Jo finds unexpected support from other girls who confirm the misogyny of teen culture. Together, they revamp the traditional senior dance theme to one that welcomes students in nonconforming gender roles and celebrates inclusion. Jo finds that mayhem does not ensue when she forms relationships based on basic honesty and respect.
VERDICT A must for teens who can handle sexually explicit material, and who are interested in wrestling, feminism, and challenging stereotypes.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing