A small-town girl joins the HS football team in Britta Lundin's fiercely charming new novel.
On this week’s episode, Britta Lundin discusses Like Other Girls (FreeForm/Disney, Aug. 3), a touchdown of a teen novel in which closeted Oregon high schooler Mara Deeble goes out for the varsity football team and unintentionally foments a political movement. It’s a stellar sophomore novel from Lundin (Ship It), a TV-writer (Riverdale, etc.) who lives in Los Angeles with her wife and family.
Kirkus on Like Other Girls: “In rural Elkhorn, Oregon, life revolves around ranching, church, and sports—but Mara’s aggression got her kicked off the basketball team last winter, and Coach Joyce won’t let her rejoin without proof that she can play a team sport without fighting. She’s certainly not trying to make a feminist statement when she joins her quarterback brother on the football team, but after her intense, out-and-proud lesbian archnemesis, Carly Nakata; her gorgeous, tomboyish crush, Valentina Cortez; and two more girls join too, claiming Mara inspired them, everyone’s talking about gender—and holding Mara to standards she’s uninterested in meeting.…Fiercely charming and achingly relatable—a glorious, empowering touchdown” (starred review).
Lundin and host Megan Labrise discuss how protagonist Mara Deeble isn’t like other girls; Lundin’s experience as the only girl on the flag football team in a small Oregon coastal town; women’s and girls’ aggression—especially in sports; queer mentors; representation in YA fiction; whether Kate McKinnon wore a football jersey specifically styled after Mara’s in an SNL sketch last season; what it means to belong to a team or community; and much more.
And in a sponsored interview Megan talks with two-time Grammy Award–winning musician and storyteller Bill Harley, author of Now You Say Yes (Peachtree Publishing, Aug. 1). Kirkus calls this poignant middle-grade novel, which chronicles the cross-country road trip of a pair of orphaned siblings, “a grand journey measured in both physical and emotional distance.”
Then editors Vicky Smith, Laurie Muchnick, and Laurie Muchnick join with their weekly reading recommendations.
Accused by Adama Bah (Norton Young Readers)
When We Were Strangers by Alex Richards (Bloomsbury)
Intimacies by Katie Kitamura (Riverhead)
Also mentioned in this episode:
Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab by Priya Huq (Amulet/Abrams)
Secrets of Happiness by Joan Silber (Counterpoint)
Thanks to our advertisers this week:
Riding the Edge: A Love Song for Deborah by Michael Tobin
Justice Only Slept by Williams Edwards
The Dream and the Muse by Jake Burnett
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.