The Squad: Perfect Cover by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. (Grades 8+)
When antisocial hacker girl Toby finds a note in her locker inviting her to try out for the varsity cheerleading squad at Bayport High, she's convinced it must be a joke. She can think of nothing she'd enjoy less and the very idea of her joining the "God squad" (so-called because the students at Bayport treat them like gods) is laughable. But then she takes a closer look and notices a code hidden in the note.
Intrigued, Toby goes to the meeting and is swept up in a world she didn't know existed. See, the varsity cheerleaders at Bayport High aren't just perky, vapid high-kickers. They're a group of highly trained teen spies working for the CIA. They have weapons and gadgets stashed in a secret lair underneath the school. And when they're not cheering at halftime, they're on classified missions to help the government.
I loved this book!
It's hilarious and smart and fun. Jennifer Lynn Barnes takes an outlandish scenario and makes it seem plausible. It's Alias meets Bring It On. It had me laughing out loud and I didn't want to put it down. I'm so looking forward to picking up Killer Spirit and I'm hoping that there will be more Squad books to come.
Learn more about the books at meetthesquad.com, visit Jennifer Lynn Barnes's website, and check out Jen Robinson's awesome review of the Squad books (she links to more reviews). Hand this one to fans of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls books. (It would also be perfect winter break reading and great for a trip to the beach or on a plane.)