The Accidental Cheerleader

Common Sense Media says

Easy read on fitting in not worth cheering about.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

There is little about parents, teachers, or other meaningful adults. Sophie's parents are present but somewhat absent-minded about their daughter. She tricks her mother so she can purchase makeup. Also, no diversity in these characters.


Girl falls from cheerleading lift and cries. She is not hurt.


Flirtations from girls directed at boys; slow dancing; coed parties playing truth or dare; discussion of kissing; excitement from fingers touching.


"Dang" and "social moron" is as bad as it gets.


Girls have their own credit cards and spend a fortune on clothes.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book in the Candy Apple series has at least a little more substance than the title implies. Geared for tweens, the plot focuses on social issues that are prevalent to this age range: fitting in, feeling awkward, first romantic attractions, relationships with parents, and balancing school and social pressures. It's an easy read, in fact probably manageable for most 8- and 9-year-olds. However, parents need to know that girls like boys and wear makeup, characters play truth or dare at a party and slow dance together, and the main character describes first romantic encounters. They also have their own credit cards and spend exorbitant amounts of money on clothes. There is no racial or economic diversity among the characters.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Shy, small Sophie and loud, wild Kylie try out for cheerleading. Sophie makes it while Kylie is designated team mascot, the mule. Their relationship is tested further when Sophie becomes part of the cheerleading popular clique. She tries to include Kylie but is frustrated and embarrassed by her friend's antics to get attention. The cheerleaders encourage Sophie to ditch Kylie -- until a rumor spreads that Sophie likes a popular, very-spoken-for football player.

Sophie actually likes Kylie's neighbor, who also believes that Sophie has changed. Sophie has some soul-searching and explaining to do to get back her friends.

Is it any good?


One of the biggest errors in this book is the lack of diversity. Are these kids really any different? And parents, don't be fooled by the easy-to-read text -- there are many passages about dreamy boys, spending money on clothes, and experimenting with makeup that make this book not totally inappropriate for younger readers, but a much better fit for kids facing similar issues, readers 11+.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the transformation of Sophie from shy outsider to popular cheerleader. Would you have managed the popular crowd differently than Sophie? Do these characters seem realistic and are they reminiscent of real classmates?

Book details

Author:Mimi McCoy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Publication date:January 1, 2007
Number of pages:176
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12
Read aloud:11
Read alone:11

This review of The Accidental Cheerleader was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

It's in my Candy Apple Collection Volume 1!

I just finished reading this book, and let me tell you it was amazing! I can really understand where Sophie is coming from becuase I had a simmilar thing happen to me. It was such a good book, I wish I could read it again! But sadly, it's over. It's short, sweet, and if you don't believe me, then read it for yourself! I highly reccomend it!
Teen, 13 years old Written byruby96 May 18, 2009

'A little to easy for a thirtheen year old'

This book was a bit to easy for me because it had very little new vocab. On the upside I think most all girls can relate to it because it deals with fitting in with the 'in' crowd,boy crushes, and being yourself. I would recomend this book to girls at the age of 11 to 13.
Adult Written bycar222 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

it was amazing

it is the kind of book that lets you know that your friends will stick with you in bad times and good


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