What In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle did for girls high school basketball, We've Got Spirit does for cheerleading. They tear ligaments, blacken eyes, and crash headfirst into hard floors. They spend hours at practice, drawing both admiration and ridicule for their efforts. They've won nine national championships, and endured heartbreaking losses. And they do it--almost always--with a smile. They are the Greenup County High cheerleading team, known to ESPN viewers as fierce athletic competitors and in northeastern Kentucky as full-fledged celebrities.
Now, an award-winning journalist, James McElroy, gives us an insider's look at a squad of unlikely teenage heroines who are taking center court and raising a cheer for themselves. "It's easy to make some kind of odious joke about cheerleaders, but don't. It's more fun to try, believe it or not, to understand them.
And James T. McElroy does just that...in his entertaining and well-reported book."-- Esquire "Looks beyond the pompoms to the personal stories and the rural towns that offer girls no other path to success."-- Marie Claire "These are not the flirty sideline stereotypes urging the boys on to victory.
These girls are more apt to break bones than hearts... McElroy portrays cheering at Greenup as a largely positive experience that allows the girls to define themselves out of potentially limited social roles, even if they have to bend over backwards to do so."-- Publishers Weekly Like such bestsellers as Little Girls in Pretty Boxes or In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle, We've Got Spirit "takes a hard look at the personal struggles of [an] intense, driven group of teenage girls and their coaches" (New York Post)