Gimme a G-A-R-A-G-E-S-A-L-E

Check it out: when I graduated from choose-your-own-adventures (really just a passing phase) and Baby-sitters Clubs, I discovered Cheerleaders. It was the 90s, but these books were decidedly 80s. But they were about cheerleading. And I was a cheerleader (until I quit senior year, which is a story I'll save for another time, dear readers). It was fate!

I probably only read the first five or so books in the series, but true to form, I probably read them a dozen times each. K and I would check them out from the town library, where they stood on a spinning rack in a back corner in what I now suppose must have been the unofficial YA corner of the library (the children's section was magnificent - truly - but YA was separate, in the adult section of the library. I think that's also where I found the Peggy Sue books, which I also adored.).

Anyway, my cousin is moving to New York (hey Laur!) now that she's officially a college grad so she had a yard sale at my aunt & uncle's house last weekend. Which probably means that the books my mom scored for me were mine to begin with, but it's more fun to pretend they weren't. So my mom calls me and is all, "I got two books for you! Something about a little sister named Karen and one of the Cheerleaders books!"


Here's what I remember about Cheerleaders: Angie had a great smile and was Italian, but needed to pick up running to keep her figure (because of all the great Italian food, natch); Mary Ellen (Sue?) had a younger sister named Gemma, which I thought was such a great name (still do; it's just that now I know some real-life ones); one of the characters called Olivia a hobbit and I didn't know what that meant at the time; Vanessa was the mean girl and people called her Vanny and she didn't make the squad.

Alas, that's all from book 1, and my mom scored me book 4, so I can't pull a BSC Revisited and compare my recollections with what actually happened. But I can grab my old poms, do a herkie, and dive in and re-read it like it's nobody's business. Stay tuned.