Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 176
Themes: Horse racing, doping, family issues
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/04/2009
Lexile Level: HL680L
Fry Reading Level: 3.4
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Sixteen-year-old Spencer loves his job at the local racing stable, but when he becomes convinced that someone is drugging the racehorse Lord of the Flies, no one believes him. In an effort to find out who is behind a dangerous race-fixing scheme, he takes on some of the most unsavory members of the track community. By refusing to turn a blind eye, Spencer risks losing those he cares most about, including Em, the stableowner's niece.

The Baytown Sun - February 6, 2010
"The first words in this young adult novel are, 'You're fired!' Who could resist reading the rest of the novel?...It's a pleasure to read a horse book that is honest about the difficult behavior of horses...Great novel, well written, for kids who can't get enough horse lore. Nikki Tate gives her readers what most people never see: the backside of the track. It's a world of its own."
Resource Links - June 1, 2009
"Once again, Nikki Tate has written an excellent horse novel. This, however, is much more that just a horse novel...It will appeal to all young adults who like a good mystery or a good horse story. Highly recommended."
Booklist - May 1, 2009
"With a good deal of suspense, this novel will capture the attentions of young readers who place following their passions above sitting in school...Readers will get caught up in Spencer's search for the truth and his dilemma over playing it safe by keeping quiet, or following his conscience and risking both his job and passion."
Resource Links - April 1, 2009
"An intriguing and easily readable story that high school aged students will want to read...A great addition to your library."
CM Magazine - March 6, 2009
"A story of intrigue, but it is also a realistic look at teen life including emotions, trials and trouble of the typical youth…Highly recommended."

Awards

Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2009 | Commended
Chocolate Lily nominee  | 2011 | Short-listed

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