Christina and her best friend Megan are about to embark on a journey that will be certain to change their middle school years for the better: cheerleading tryouts! As two of the only students of color in their school, they are desperate to fit in – and what better way than to join the squad? Christina and Megan know it is not always easy to be different in suburban Texas, but cheerleading will change that. After all, the cheerleaders are the face of the school and being in the squad is sure to boost their popularity. When Megan decides to pair with someone else for the first round of tryouts, Christina tries not to let it bother her, especially after they both make it to the next round. Unfortunately, the second round of tryouts means performing in front of the entire seventh grade! As Christina practices for the big day, she thinks back to some of the comments others have said that made her feel like an outsider. Some teachers refuse to learn how to pronounce her last name. Classmates ask her if she is worried about going to heaven since she is Buddhist and not a baptized Christian. Tobin, the school bully, calls Christina “rice girl.” To perform her best at the tryouts, Christina must block out all of the negativity and focus on what is most important to her, although she is about to find out that cheerleading is not what is most important to her after all.
THOUGHTS: Based on the author’s own experiences as a teenager, The Tryout is a heartwarming story that will resonate with anyone that has ever been a middle school student, no matter what color their skin. This graphic novel will circulate well in libraries where The Babysitters Club and Click series fly off the shelves.
Graphic Novel Danielle Corrao, Manheim Central SD