Quan Barry’s 2020 We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel is a supernatural historical comedy coming-of-age novel. [Editor: quite a pile-up of adjectives there!]
Considered separately, high school students Abby Putnam, Girl Cory, Boy Cory, Mel Boucher, Jen Fiorenz, Sue Yoon, Amy “Little Smitty” Smith, Julie Kaling, Becca Bjelica, Heather Houston, and AJ Johnson are ordinary teenagers. Together they are the Danvers Falcons field hockey team, whose failed teamwork is matched only by their appalling performance on the field. If the Danvers Falcons are not the worst team in the 1989 season, it’s not for lack of trying.
A shockingly awful field hockey team is not their town’s only claim to fame. Danvers, Massachusetts, is the town that many of the Salem Witch Trial accusers called home. It is to this occult heritage a desperate Mel Boucher turns. Perhaps hockey success can be found in a mystical pledge to an infernal entity known only as … Emilio!