The Accidental Cheerleader

Book review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
The Accidental Cheerleader Book Poster Image
Easy read on fitting in not worth cheering about.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 17 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byAngie0618 February 9, 2011

is the best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is such a great book!!!!
Adult Written bylaughingbear. July 18, 2009
Teen, 13 years old Written byValerie Torres September 29, 2015
The Accidental Cheerleader, by Mimi McCoy. Genre: Realistic fiction. The Accidental Cheerleader is about two seventh grade girls and also best friends Kylie and... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 17, 2011

Why did you give this 2 stars?

This is really good. I liked it alot. Really easy to read but fun. Reccommended!

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+.

Talk to your kids 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

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