Posts Tagged 'corruption'

The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill Alexander

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  212 pages

RAC Book:  Yes

Austin is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives in Texas with her mom.  Her father died six years earlier in an accident on Christmas Eve, which has left her mother a little traumatized and overprotective.  There is a family of bullies who think they can do anything in the town because they have money.  One in particular likes to criticize Austin at every chance he gets.  As Austin deals with the bullying, she decides that she wants to be the sweetheart of prosper county so that she can ride in the parade and no one could ever make fun of her again.  In order to do this she must raise a chicken to enter in the county fair.  It’s a very long process to raise a chicken and get him ready for the county fair, but Austin believes if she does this it will be the first step toward becoming somebody in this town.  Will she ever feel the courage to stand up for herself?

This heartwarming story follows a girl who has many things to deal with including a mother who has withdrawn from her life, and a terrible bully who thinks he can do anything because his father owns the corrupt mayor.  As she grows up and matures, she begins to see that she is the only one who can really change things for herself.  The characters are well-developed and fun to read about and the plot is so interesting and fast paced that anyone will want to know more about county fairs and raising animals.

Cover-Up by John Feinstein

Genre: Sports Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of Pages: 298 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Stevie and Susan Carol are back in this sequel to The Final Shot: A Final Four Mystery and Vanishing Act. At the beginning of this book, they have been working together on a sports show designed for kids, but Stevie gets fired when a popular singer becomes available. Stevie rebounds by getting invited to the Super Bowl as a reporter for a popular newspaper. Things become a little crazy when Susan Carol inadvertently learns that some of the drug tests were changed before the game. They decide to investigate and find that indeed several players should be ineligible to play in the big game. Finding this information puts them at great risk to both their physical well-being and their careers. They underestimated the amount of power the people who covered this up have and wonder if they will ever be taken seriously as reporters again.

Stevie and Susan Carol’s stories continue to get more interesting and well developed. This one is the most exciting and suspenseful yet and still packs in a lot of sports action. They do have a lot of lucky breaks in their methods of investigating, but they are also young teenagers who need to rely on many people coming to their rescue in order to get the story. Since the first book these two have gained great fame and admiration from many people. It’s nice that no one feels these two should not be allowed to have the access and opportunities that are handed to them despite their lack of qualifications, but in such a competitive environment it is a little hard to believe. It was a fast paced and well-written mystery that sports fans will enjoy.