Seton Girls

Dutton. Aug. 2022. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593529348.
Gr 9 Up–Varsity football is king at Seton, a private school near Philadelphia, where the world is so small that rumors of what quarterback Parker Adams did with his girlfriend’s best friend Britt MacDougal over the summer is all kids talk about. Britt clarifies, just once, that she “didn’t have a choice” with Parker. Furious that Britt dared to sully his reputation, Parker’s madder still that the Seton girls—usually in thrall to the team—can no longer profess unequivocal loyalty to these charismatic athletes who share “weed, test answers, and girls” on the regular. Britt’s inference that she was raped isolates her from best friends Michelle, Kelly, and Bianca; the quartet of wealthy Black girls love one another, but their popularity is now on the line. Arguments ensue. Britt’s allegation bursts the bubble of their near-celebrity status. Only Aly—Alyson Jacobs, another Black girl, believes Britt, sees her pain beneath the standoff, and reaches out. Unencumbered by privilege (Aly is bussed to Seton from a poorer neighborhood), she believes in these women and the bonds of their friendship. As the first junior to edit the school’s newspaper, she also wields some power of her own when she publishes an expose of the football team’s criminal mistreatment of women. Realistic? Maybe not. A compulsive read—definitely.
VERDICT A page-turning debut centering on a close group of Black girls and a football team’s takedown following an accusation of rape.

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