Winner of the 2009 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize
Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet takes a searing look at the world of soccer and pop-celebrity culture — and the lives of three street kids caught in its glare.
When a black South American soccer star signs on to a team in the country's racist south, headlines blare. And when he falls for the sensual Desmerelda, a stunning white pop singer and daughter of a wealthy politician, their sudden and controversial marriage propels the pair to center stage, where they burn in the media spotlight. But celebrity attracts enemies; some very close to home. And its dazzle reaches into the city's hidden corners, exposing a life of grit and desperation the glitterati could never imagine. When a girl is found murdered, reporter Paul Faustino is caught between worlds as he witnesses the power of the media in making — and breaking — lives. Inspired by Shakespeare's OTHELLO, this modern tragedy of desire and betrayal, incisively and compassionately told, is a truly enthralling work of crossover fiction.
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Mal Peet (1947–2015) is the acclaimed author of the Carnegie Medal–winning novel Tamar as well as the Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Life: An Exploded Diagram and three Paul Faustino novels: Keeper, The Penalty, and Exposure, a winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. He is also the co-author of Cloud Tea Monkeys, Mysterious Traveler, and Night Sky Dragons, all of which he wrote with his wife, Elspeth GrahamFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up—South America's star soccer player, Otello, has just signed a very lucrative contract to play with a team in the southern part of his country. Despite his legendary status as a black northerner, he faces racial discrimination from both the fans and his teammates. His fame is launched to a frenzied level when he marries Desmerelda, the white pop-star daughter of the wealthy and powerful politician who funded his soccer contract. Guided by his self-serving agent, Diego, Otello and Desmerelda become a superstar couple with advertising deals, endorsements, and their own clothing line. Meanwhile, a subplot involving three homeless teenagers climaxes with Otello being accused of inappropriate actions when one of the beautiful and flirtatious teens, Bianca, turns up dead. The plot, characters, and names bear a close resemblance to Shakespeare's masterpiece. While teens will need no familiarity with the original to enjoy Peet's version of the tragedy of betrayal and the isolation of fame, the subplots and entanglements may seem confusing to readers unfamiliar with the play. At 430 pages, the pacing is slow at times, which will deter some teens from reaching the long-awaited ending. However, teachers could add this title to the list of Shakespeare adaptations that can be analyzed in whole or in part by individual students or a small group.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD
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Book Description Candlewick, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0763652911
Book Description Candlewick, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110763652911