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Sister Mischief

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  506 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A gay suburban hip-hopper freaks out her Christian high school - and falls in love - in this righteously funny and totally tender YA debut, for real.

Listen up: You’re about to get rocked by the fiercest, baddest all-girl hip-hop crew in the Twin Cities - or at least in the wealthy, white, Bible-thumping suburb of Holyhill, Minnesota. Our heroine, Esme Rockett (aka MC Feroc
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Candlewick Press
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Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
128th out of 943 books — 2,425 voters
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Lesbian teen fiction
33rd out of 281 books — 311 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,357)
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I’m really not a hip-hop fan and, despite the prospect of a quirky, funny and diverse LGBT love story, I was hesitant to read “Sister Mischief” because of worries over cultural appropriation and such. However, by the end of this book, I was ready to apologise to it for ever doubting how good it would be. This review may not be the most objective thing I’ve ever written. Sometimes a book comes along that you completely fall in love with, even though you know it’s not perfect and you know not ever ...more
Cross-posted with my

Sister Mischief is one of those books that only comes once in a while - a book about identity that, instead of making universal statements, focuses on individuality.

Have I mentioned that I love character-driven novels? Well, I do. And as far as characterization goes, this book doesn't fail to deliver - our protagonist, Esme, and her friends Rowie, Tessa and Marcy are a group of hip-hop loving, open-minded seventeen-year old girls, who strive to express themselves in a
Christina G
I'm surprised this got published, and I don't mean that in a this was utter crap way, I mean it in a this tells a story about such a goddamn specific niche way: a crew of mostly white high school girls in a Minneapolis suburb (EDINA!) fight to found a group called "Hip Hop for Heteros and Homos." Meanwhile, romance brews between Esme and definitely questioning/closeted Rowie.

I was skeptical going into this - white author, with a 50+% white cast, writing about hip hop in the suburbs. Setting is r
I was really excited when I picked up this book. It sounded awesome. And there were a few moments of awesomeness in it. Overall, however, I was disappointed. Since this is my first negative reviews I'll try to go into a bit more detail than my "I loved it!" reviews.

The good:

The premise: Two members of an all-female hip-hop group from suburban Minnesota fall in love while fighting unjust authority at school? How awesome is that?

Minor characters getting their due: I really loved some of the supp
i just read an excerpt from this on amazon and started cracking up at the reference desk. can't wait until the order gets in!

update: really liked this. but what's not to like about four badass teenage girls protesting their high school's anti hip-hop policy by starting a combination GSA and hip-hop discussion group? tess, marcy, rowie & our main character the fearless esme also perform as "sister mischief" at various open-mic nights. esme has only recently come out to her friends and father,
Theirs are individual, highly original and strong voices. And they’re funny! Throw in a couple of surprising moment of sweet…and this is me, hours later, contemplating a re-read. First of, I don’t get hip hop, but their early discussions on its origins, white/black/blue/red etc and ‘white guilt’ were hilarious and made perfect sense to me. They put into words the questions I had. All I will say is that SISTER MISCHIEF is clever in tackling the subject. Then throw in some politics, religion, a jo ...more
I had very high hopes for this book. A Jewish, lesbian, teenaged MC and her all-female rap collective take on their school when their principal bans hip-hop. How could this possibly go wrong?


I try not to ascribe motivations to an author because really, who can ever say for sure what was going through an author's head when they were writing. But you have to go far, far out of your way to write a book about a four girl hip-hop group with zero black girls. Three of the girls are white, and one
Received from Netgalley.

Summary: Listen up: You’re about to get rocked by the fiercest, baddest all-girl hip-hop crew in the Twin Cities - or at least in the wealthy, white, Bible-thumping suburb of Holyhill, Minnesota. Our heroine, Esme Rockett (aka MC Ferocious) is a Jewish lesbian lyricist. In her crew, Esme’s got her BFFs Marcy (aka DJ SheStorm, the butchest straight girl in town) and Tess (aka The ConTessa, the pretty, popular powerhouse of a vocalist). But Esme’s feelings for her co-MC, Ro
The Little Bookworm
Plot: I could see this as movie. It would be a great Disney type movie except for the cursing and lesbians. And, while you might be able to lose the cursing, the lesbian part is a big part of why this book works in a different way from the standard YA love story. Music is hard to read on paper and rarely comes through so while I could picture the girls rapping and singing I couldn't really "hear" it. But the message comes across pretty well despite the discrepancies of medium.
Originally Posted at:

**This Review is based on an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy). The final text and/or cover may be different.**

"We ride to get high, Minnesota-do-or-die
We talk shit and kick it, out bidness is the shiznet
Sot holler out out name, we're the illest Sister Mischief"

This book was fun and completely filled with raps and rhymes and that type of stuff. I don't usually listen to or consider myself a fan of rap, but this book totally rocked! Laura Go
I liked this a lot more than I expected to when I started it, when I wasn't sure if the conversations about the ethics of white suburban girls doing hip-hop or being a Christian who isn't an asshole were being slotted in just to get them out of the way. But they definitely weren't. This is an Issue Book, but it's about a hell of a lot of issues - queerness, faith, family, friends, the First Amendment, hip-hop, immigration, and that isn't even half of the issues the book touched on. Maybe it's a ...more
The Lonely book club
Full review: The lonely book-club

The book is very light and easy to read, you get the hang of the story quite easily. It’s composed well and it’s not confusing. The small notes that are put in here and there “by” the protagonist is a bit annoying from time to time, but one gets used to them and they definitely adds to the “young” atmosphere the book tries to hold.

The characters differ from each other and it’s easy to see which character are which without having to look back in the story to get t
Filia Libri
Erwachsenwerden, Coming-Out, Freundschaft, Culture Clash, Identität, Hip-Hop, erste Liebe - um diese Themen und noch einige weitere geht es in Laura Goodes Debüt Sister Mischief.

Ich muss ehrlich zugeben, ich hatte etwas Probleme in das Buch hinein zu finden, denn die Sprache der Protagonistin und ihrer Freundinnen ist, getreu der HipHop-Thematik, stellenweise doch etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig. Hat man sich aber einmal daran gewöhnt, zeigt sich, dass Sister Mischief ein wirklich schönes, schwungvoll
four smart, kinda-nerdy teens in a wealthy christian suburb of minneapolis become rappers. this premise could have gone REALLY wrong, but it's actually great--a page-turning, laugh-out-loud kind of way. i love the snarkiness and bad behavior and bad language of the characters, because it's how teens really talk. i wish i knew these ladies. i love that they have a talk within the first fifty pages about whether or not it's okay for them to be rapping as mostly-white suburban teens. their conversa ...more
I loved so many things about this story of a mostly-white teenage female hip-hop group in suburban Minnesota. The characters were sweet, funny, and hip. The central romantic relationship was well done and the ultimate outcome felt believable to me. I loved how the characters got involved in activism in their high school - creating a combination GSA/ hip hop student group - and their analysis of intersectionality was really just great. The use of footnotes for text messages was cute, if a little ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Alyssa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I became wary of this book when I opened one of the first pages and a quote from a Rita Mae Brown book stared back at me. Again, I've only read one book by Brown, but it was a disaster. Anyways, all of my fears melted away once I began reading the book.

This book is about standing up for what you believe in and loving yourself for who you are. The female lead in this book, Esme, must deal with the complications of coming out, and being in love with one of your best galfriends. All the while her p
My kneejerk reaction: I really didn't want to read this because they used the word "bidness" and the word "illest" in the same sentence on the back of my ARC.

Actual reaction: I love this book no shit. Even though it made me feel old.

Review later.
A group of white suburban midwestern girls take on sexuality through hip hop. There's the right amount of teenage angst and drama and good guys and bad guys, but sometimes a little too philosophizing.
My book club buddy wrote this! Can't wait. Rock on, Laura.
Esme and her friends are an all-female hip hop group in their Minnesota suburb. Her school, influenced by the strong Christian values of the community, decides to ban hip hop music and anything related to hip hop. When Esme and her friends try to start a hip hop gay straight alliance club at their school called Hip-Hop for Heteros and Homos, the popular and powerful Christian kids and the school administrators attempt to crush their plans.

I was interested in this book because of the hip hop com

Three and a half stars, rounded up.

I enjoyed this book very much. I was a little worried that the characters would all be nothing but stereotypes, and they are a bit, but they also rise above that to feel like real people. The story is a little over-the-top -- it's set in a made-up town called Holyhill, full of Bible thumpers who mostly come across in one dimension -- and the whole thing feels a bit like the first half of the first season of Glee: messy, both self-conscious and self-aware, and
"Sister Mischief" by Laura Goode is a tough one, literally and figuratively. I came to the book willingly - a Minnesota setting, a book for our LGBTQ kids, an author with Minnesota connections - it's got to be good. Right? Unfortunately, it turns out that I had a hard time getting through this one.

Protagonist Esme Rockett is not very likable from page one - she is tough. She is in your face with her language, her opinions, her anger, her choices. Sometimes she is as judgmental as those she decri
I honestly think I may have enjoyed this book more if I had listened to it on audio book. It was an interesting idea, but it took me a long while before I actually got into the story and cared for the main character. But thanks to this book, I do have a gang sign to throw out whenever I want to. 4H! Keep in mind it's only when I am being retarded at work and messing with my employees.

Anyways, the book starts off with Esme realizing for sure that she is a lesbian. And what's the best way to do t
Laura Martinelli
After reading several very positive early reviews, I’ve been waiting to get my grubby little paws of this book. Well worth it!

This is very much a character-driven book, and as a result, I loved Esme. She feels like a natural narrator, and I really felt her anger and frustration about her life through her words. Esme doesn’t have the right answers, she screws up with her friends, and at the end, she still feels like someone trying to find her way. I could really tell how much hip-hop spoke to Esm
This was totally a pageturner for me. I confess I loved it. The relationships between the four girls is hilariously awkward. I felt like the old person listening to teen conversations and thinking "what did she just say?" I am not up on hiphop and teen slang so sometimes the combinations of words in a sentence didn't compute but I didn't feel as though the sentences shouldn't be set up the way they were (I hope that makes sense). Anyway, Esme and her dad's relationship was fun, but I couldn't ge ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Ed added it
Goode, L. (2011). Sister mischief. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. 367 pp. ISBN: 978-0-7636-4640-0. (Hardcover); $16.99.*

What’s not to love about a group of girls from Holyhill, Minnesota who label themselves as the baddest all girl hip hop crew in the Twin Cities, especially when they are very aware that they are not black? They are, however, Jewish, White, Indian, Christian, lesbian, straight, smart, idealistic, and friends. They are also determined to carve a place for the music they love i
Despite the almost flamboyant eccentricity of the subject matter in Sister Mischief, the characters here really blew me away. I have a soft spot for coming-of-age YA novels because I'm always searching for that "high" of what it's like to be when you're younger and the world is so small but in that time period it's so large and yet conquerable. The combined force of the members of "Sister Mischief" was able to bring me back to those times, much like the camaraderie of the Sisterhood of the Trave ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Esme, Tess, Rowie, and Marcy are typical high school juniors in most areas. They are good students with their eyes set on top-notch colleges. For the most part, they don't give their parents any grief, and they keep their noses clean in school. However, they do have one passion - and when school authorities declare that this passion is no longer to be allowed at school, the girls rebel.

Holyhill High School is adding a new policy to
Ian Wood
I rated this one as worthy on my blog, where you can find a very detailed review. I recommend this for older teens and young adults.

I don't do stars because the system of rating a book as partly worth reading is alien to me. It's either worth your time or it isn't and I'm not going to waste your time tellingn you it's worth three fifths of your time but you'll be throwing away the other two fifths?!

I'm having some sort of existential crisis or something but I definitely do not recommend going di
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9th Grade SSR: Sister mischief book review 1 4 Apr 19, 2013 09:30AM  
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Laura Goode was raised in Minneapolis and received her BA and MFA in English and writing from Columbia University. She has written and directed two full-length plays, and her poetry has appeared in the Denver Quarterly, Cannibal, and Narwhal. She lives in San Francisco.
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“This one is for our crew, but it’s also for all the weird girls and word nerds, for all the in-the-middle wickeds and queers and misfits and hell-raisers.” 20 likes
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