Rave Reviews Log: Sports Stories

November 15, 2006

Vanishing Act

By John Feinstein
Sport: Tennis
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

13 year old Stevie and Susan Carol were last in action at college basketball's Final Four tournament, writing articles for their respective newspapers and helping to foil a plot to throw the tournament (see review for Last Shot). Now Stevie joins Susan Carol in New York City to cover the U.S. Open. The pair are staying with Susan Carol's Uncle Brendan who happens to be an agent for the up and coming 16 year old player, Evelyn Rubin. But most of the tournament's attention is on the Russian girls, the poster girl Nadia Symanova and the plainer but also talented Elena Makarova. Then Nadia disappears right before her first match and it appears she's been kidnapped! Who did it? The Russian government to stop a possible defection? Her main rival, Elena Makarova? Stevie and Susan Carol are right in the thick of things, trying to figure out who has to gain from her disappearance, and who might gain if she does reappear in time to play some matches. Everyone comes under suspicion, even Susan Carol's uncle. Clues come fast and furious as time begins to run out, but will Stevie and Susan Carol be able to put all the pieces together in time for the next big match to be played? The whole world is watching and readers will be as thrilled by the tennis action as the mystery. Great fun for mystery and sports fans.

November 01, 2006

Emergency Quarterback

By Rich Wallace
Sport: Football
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

This is part of the Winning Season series. Jason Fiorelli is a star athlete and he is determined to change the perennial losses of the town teams into championships. As the playmaking wide receiver on his football team, Jason feels like the championship is in their grasp with just 3 games to go. But then Vinny the quarterback has a season ending injury. His backup, Wade, is capable, but a big mouth who can't back up his talk with action. The coach decides to train Jason as an emergency quarterback in case Wade doesn't measure up, fueling the rivalry between the two. All Jason cares about is the team winning, and all Wade seems to care about is making himself look good. Will they be able to pool their talents into the team in time to win the championship? This story is packed with football action, but not much character development. Still, readers who are interested in a straightforward sports story might enjoy this one.