Best of the Bay 2012: BEST YOUNG ADULT HIP-HOP MISCHIEF

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It is no small feat to write about suburban kids loving hip-hop without coming across as condescending or a-historic, but somehow a free-styling Minnesota-bred woman managed it. San Francisco-based author Laura Goode triumphed with Sister Mischief (Candlewick, $16.99, 367pp), a young adult novel about a gang of outsider girl friends who take on the powers of conformity at their whitebread, fundamentalist-controlled high school by forming a queer-straight hip-hop alliance (and performing their feminist lyrics for unwitting audiences). The book is hardly preachy, but does include teenage conversations about race, cultural co-optation, and sexuality — along with a scene that pretty well teaches you how to smoke weed — and is flush with curiosity, radicalism, and outright guffaws.

www.lauragoode.com