Reviews for Rush for the Gold : Mystery at the Olympics


Booklist Reviews 2012 May #1
Teenage journalists Susan Carol Anderson and Steve Thomas find themselves involved in mysterious events in a new sports setting: the swimming trials leading to the London Olympics. In a fresh plot twist, Susan Carol is competing for a spot on the U.S. team in two butterfly events. She must deal with the unrelenting demands of agents, advertisers, and the media, but soon other concerns appear. Shady characters, a pompous official, and a glamorous Russian swimmer muddy the Olympic waters as it appears someone may be planning to fix events. As in his earlier sports mysteries, the popular Feinstein takes readers inside a major sports venue, supplies fascinating details, and serves up a satisfying mystery. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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BookPage Reviews 2012 July
A gold-medal read for kids

There’s a scandal brewing at the 2012 Olympics, and if Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are around, you might expect them to be on the trail of the story. In John Feinstein’s previous sports mysteries, teen sportswriters Stevie and Susan Carol have stopped a point-shaving scheme at the Final Four, uncovered doping at the Super Bowl and investigated the disappearance of a tennis phenom at the U.S. Open.

But this time around, Susan Carol isn’t one of the sleuths—she’s at the center of the action. In Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics, Susan Carol’s career as a high school swimmer takes off when she qualifies for the Olympic Team. Her father signs her up with a sports management team that takes the young swimmer in directions she doesn’t want to go, but the potential rewards are astonishing if she wins gold. When Stevie clashes with the overbearing agents, he starts to smell a rat, but can he reveal the truth if it costs Susan Carol a medal?

Feinstein, a best-selling author (A Season on the Brink) and former sports reporter, gives young readers an up-close view of athletics and deftly blends plot twists with insider details. Appearances by real-life figures like Michael Phelps are much more than cameos—they become part of the action. Good mysteries for kids should be complicated enough to be entertaining and believable enough for readers to identify with the characters. Feinstein succeeds at both; Rush for the Gold definitely wins a medal.

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
In Feinstein's sixth sports mystery novel, Susan Carol is a world-class swimmer and teen reporter Stevie, her boyfriend. Susan Carol feels pressure to win the gold for lucrative contracts; Stevie wonders how far a corporation would go to ensure its client's victory. The answer is "too far," hence the (quickly and neatly solved) mystery. The Olympic action and intrigue will please fans.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #5
e-book ed. 978-0-375-98455-6 $10.99

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 April #1
Feinstein's latest tale of chicanery in big-time sports sends teen journalist Stevie Thomas to London to cover the Olympics, where his usual partner Susan Carol is swimming for gold. A win at the Worlds has turned Susan Carol into a national celebrity and brought a whirl of lucrative marketing deals her way. It has also put her at odds with her father, who has fallen thoroughly under the influence of pushy agent J.P. Scott. Stevie covers the progress of his beautiful, brilliant, talented girlfriend for a Washington paper as she makes her way through the Olympics Trials and then the early heats in London. He begins to smell a rat when he spots an associate of J.P.'s meeting with a hot-looking Russian swimmer who is competing against her. A slimy marketer's careless comment later, Stevie knows the fix is in. As is his wont, Feinstein salts the cast with real athletes and other figures from Michael Phelps to Bob Costas. He folds plenty of dramatic sports action as well as behind-the-scenes banter and personal and family conflict into a plot that moves smoothly to a suspenseful climax. Though the evidence fingering a bribed Olympics judge is rather conveniently obtained, both the crime and the marketing pressures behind it are thoroughly believable. A fast-paced caper, with plenty to offer fans of both the Games and the less savory "games." (Mystery. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 June

Gr 6-9--The sports-journalism duo of Susan Carol Anderson and Stevie Thomas is embroiled in cracking another mystery. This time the story takes place at the 2012 Olympics. Fifteen-year-old Susan Carol is competing in the games as a swimmer on Team USA while Stevie, her boyfriend, is covering the events for the Washington Herald. Susan Carol's good looks and athletic ability catch the eye of Lighting Fast, an agency that mesmerizes her father with promises of millions of dollars in contracts if his daughter can win the gold. When members of Lighting Fast are seen mingling with one of Susan Carol's competitors, she and Stevie's suspicions about the agency intensify. While she focuses on swimming, Stevie is forced to crack the case on his own. He uncovers Lightning Fast's plot to bribe officials to ensure that Susan Carol's less attractive, yet equally talented teammate does not win, jeopardizing the agency's opportunity to market Susan Carol for millions. Disappointingly, the action doesn't really heat up until the last few chapters. Readers may find the large cast of undeveloped secondary characters difficult to keep track of, and the plot gets bogged down with details about the world of competitive swimming. Still, the novel is timed to hit shelves before the 2012 London Olympics and it provide readers with a seemingly realistic and interesting behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Games.--Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CT

[Page 120]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2012 August
Once again, teen sports writers Susan Carol and Stevie find themselves uncovering sports-related shenanigans, but this time Susan Carol is not working as a journalist--she is a participating athlete. When she won the 200 butterfly at the World Championships, she not only became a contender for the coveted spot on the Olympic team, but she also caught the eye of corporate sponsors who are willing to pay her handsomely to promote their athletic gear…providing she wins, of course. Now, Stevie is covering for his girlfriend and former partner as she sets her sights on the gold. The two quickly discover that the enormous amount of money available for the fastest swimmers--especially the attractive ones--creates an attitude of winning at any cost. Even worse, Susan Carol's own father seems to be under the money spell, which adds considerably to her stress and frustration Feinstein's vast experience in the world of sports (sometimes evidenced by name-dropping with reckless abandon) gives credibility and immediacy to the story. Although the mystery appears fairly late in the story, teens will be too caught up in the drama of Susan Carol's rise in the swimming world to mind too much. The behind-the-scenes look at agents and corporate sponsors may cause sports enthusiasts to think differently about the world of athletics and particularly popular venues like the Olympics. While fans of Susan Carol and Stevie will be sure to enjoy their latest adventure, the story stands easily on its own, so familiarity with the series is not required.--Heather Christensen Claudia & Monica: Freshman Girls. Stone Arch/Capstone, 2012. 144p. PLB $25.32. 2Q 3P M Gallagher, Diana. Haunted Love. ISBN 978-1-4342-3277-9____________. Homecoming. ISBN 978-1-4342-3276-2.____________. New Firsts. ISBN 978-1-4342-3275-5___________. Tested. ISBN 978-1-4342-3278-6.These hi-lo stories of freshman-year romances, parties, shopping, and dating will feed middle school girls' fantasies about how much fun high school will be: how charming the boys, how best buds will develop into cute boyfriends, and how said boyfriends will have cars, play in bands, and be stars of the football team, even though they are only freshmen or sophomores. Narrating alternating chapters, main characters, Claudia and Monica, may be familiar to some from the author's earlier books about the two friends in middle school. Now in their first year of high school together, Claudia and Monica's friendship is tested in the usual ways--new friends, blossoming romances, the siren call of the popular crowd--but it is never long before they are BFFs again. These short, squeaky-clean, undemanding school stories may engage reluctant female readers or appeal to more advanced readers who will whip right through them. (Covers dotted with hearts ensure that no middle school boy will pick these up, reluctant reader or not.) Claudia and Monica's interests center around their boyfriends and their interests, with their own friendship taking a backseat, though perhaps only temporarily. Although covers of the earlier books depict Claudia as Hispanic and Monica as African-American, the race or ethnicity of any of the characters is not mentioned in this pleasant but unexciting new series. This is an unobjectionable addition to any middle school or even elementary school library.--Laurie Cavanaugh 3Q 3P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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