The Accidental Cheerleader



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.

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

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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; OK 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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Kid, 8 years old September 19, 2010
I think this book is OK for 8+.I kinda like this book.And I really hope Mimi Mcoy Makes Accidental Cheerleader 2.I am 8 years old almost 9 years old.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

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, 14 years old Written bySnowflake123 December 12, 2009
Mimi i would love o ask and i hope you read this ! Please please please make a second book of The Accidental Cheerleader! I want Sophie and
What other families should know
Great messages


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