Fall was... oh, so busy. Crazy, crazy busy. That's the only way I can explain how I JUST came across these reviews for my cheer series at 3am. (Obviously, I bypassed the whole winter, too!)
Booklist (October 1, 2010 (Vol. 107, No. 3))
Grades 5-8. “Smile!” The focus is on positive attitude in this title in the Ready, Set, Cheer! series, which features lots of full-page color photos of middle-school cheerleaders. Along with all the smiles, there is also straightforward, direct advice about preparing for tryouts (“practice, practice, practice”). The tone is reassuring and also down-to-earth: attend every practice; be energetic; wear comfortable clothes; pull hair up and away from the face; and always, even if you mess up, keep smiling. A final chapter on tips for cheerleading camp includes a checklist of what to bring (lip gloss and a favorite stuffed animal are fine) and what not to bring (no laptops or cell phones). Even the many wannabes who don’t have a hope of making the team will enjoy browsing these pages, filled with photos of young people performing amazing handsprings, group pyramids, and more. The glossary, with words like excel, elite, and stamina, says it all.
This cheerleading series will appeal to tween and young teen girls who have always wanted to cheer. The series begins with Cheerleading Basics, which provides the history of cheering and the basic motions and jumps of cheerleading. The importance of a positive attitude and contagious spirit is the focus of Cheerleading Spirit. The last two books delve into the more technical elements of cheerleading. Cheerleading Stunts and Tumbling explains the different levels of stunts, such as pyramids, and the importance of the roles of each cheerleader, and then briefly touches on tumbling. Cheerleading Tryouts and Competitions focuses on the process of clinics, tryouts, and competitions and gives tips for achieving your best at each. The packaging of the series is well done. The photographs are spread throughout and range from elementary-aged girls to university cheer squads. The text is easy to read, with bullet points and call-out sections throughout the series. The information gives the reader a broad understanding of the topic and its various themes. Some of the information could be used for reports but will mainly be for recreational reading. While the series will not teach readers how to do the tumbling and stunts per se, it will provide ideas and engender enthusiasm toward the sport. Reviewer: Kristin Fletcher-Spear