IN THESE GIRLS, HOPE IS A MUSCLE, is the story of the Amherst High School Hurricanes championship season. The author, Madelaine Blais, gives detailed descriptions of the girls, their feelings, their drive and their desire, frequently using quotes from the girls themselves, their parents, the coaches, and people in the town of Amherst, Mass. These quotes along with letters and journal entries she includes, allows the reader to identify with the girls. The reader drives with Patri to the practices in her mother's beat up, old car which may or may not start; we sympathize with Jen when she talks about which of her divorced parents to wave to or hug first; we feel the desire when Jamalia describes the meaning behind Hoop Phi. In addition, Blais does an excellent job describing the town of Amherst and its somewhat eccentrically liberal population. She compares and contrasts Amherst with its neighboring towns and the rivalries with their teams. Blais uses all of these adolesent emotions and small town rivalries to build to the climax of the big game. What we have therefore, is an excellent book for anyone, male or female, interested in sports played at its purest. The book is especially recommended for girls or women who play sports, wish they did, or wish they had had the opportunity.