We Ride Upon Sticks

We Ride Upon Sticks

Book - 2020
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"From the author of the widely acclaimed She Weeps Each Time You're Born--a new novel, at once comic and moving, set in 1989 Danvers, Massachusetts, where a high school field hockey team discovers that the witchcraft of their Salem forebears may be the key to a winning season. In this tour de female force, the Danvers High School Falcons Varsity is on an unaccountable streak. In chapters dense with '80s iconography--from Heathers to Big Hair--Quan Barry expertly weaves the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team: the quiet, husky goalie Mel Boucher, who signs her name to a pledge of darkness in a notebook with heartthrob Emilio Estevez on the cover; the top bitch forward, Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond "Claw" sees and knows all; the good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the famous Salem witness Ann Putnam), who is hesitant to sign her name to the Emilio pact; AJ Johnson, the team's one black player, for whom enchantment brings racial awakening; the untouchably beautiful Girl Cory and her name-twin Boy Cory, who plays this female sport for his own reasons. These "witches" and their teammates are as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flouting society's stale notions of femininity to find their true selves in a celebration of teen girldom in all its glory"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Pantheon, [2020]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780525565437
9781524748098
Branch Call Number: FIC Barr
Characteristics: 366 pages ; 24 cm

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Kristen S: "A hilarious coming of age story about a 1980s high school field hockey team pledging their allegiance to the devil in order to become champions. Barry is able to create a rich backstory for each team member, giving them all equal love and attention, which is no small feat. I read... Read More »

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Chapel_Hill_KristenS Nov 09, 2020

A hilarious coming of age story about a 1980s high school field hockey team pledging their allegiance to the devil in order to become champions. Barry is able to create a rich backstory for each team member, giving them all equal love and attention, which is no small feat. I read this thinking it... Read More »


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Chapel_Hill_KristenS Nov 09, 2020

A hilarious coming of age story about a 1980s high school field hockey team pledging their allegiance to the devil in order to become champions. Barry is able to create a rich backstory for each team member, giving them all equal love and attention, which is no small feat. I read this thinking it was a horror story, and kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Don't be like me! Take your time enjoying the quirky characters, nostalgia, and smart humor.

h
hiveman
Mar 30, 2020

This is a fun, wacky, novel about the 1989 Danvers Girls Field Hockey team (plus Boy Cory). I'm finding it hard to describe without giving details, so I'll just say, try it, you'll like it.

From The Bloggess' interview with the author:
Me: There were so many times I screamed “YES! THIS EXACTLY” while reading your book that it was a bit insane and I probably scared everyone in my house. There are so many themes and life lessons that run through your writing but I think my favorite one was this: “AJ Johnson made a mental note to herself: always be laughing. The woman from the shop who’d read Sue’s Tarot just 30 minutes before was already being proven right. Fuck ‘em.” There’s a lesson I wish I’d learned in high school. Are there any other lessons you wanted to impart in the book?

Quan: I don’t think there are too many BLLs (Big Life Lessons) I condensed down into lines like the one you quote, but hopefully there’s a lot of little wisdom sprinkled throughout. There’s stuff about mother-daughters, about living your own dreams, about being creative and what it means to be a member of a team/community. Also, when the girls chant, “Be. Aggressive. B-E aggressive,” maybe what they’re really saying is stand up and be counted, be in whatever number you want to be among as you come marching in, head held high.

b
brangwinn
Mar 15, 2020

This funny novel follows a girl’s field hockey team as they strive to reach the state finals. Set in the outskirts of Salem, with the one of the team leaders being a relative of the famous Salem accuser Ann Putnam, you know there’s going to be a little witchcraft. Set in the 1980’s, it is filled with lots of memories, from hair to the description of the team members, including Boy Cory who thought joining a woman’s sport would help him get into college. Funny you bet. I graduated way before the 1980’s but high school humor and friendships remain the same.

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