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Betting Game
Cover of Betting Game
Betting Game
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Jack's a star player on an elite soccer team along with his brother, Alex. The Lancers are on top of the league, even favored to win the National Championship. But the game's about to change. A slick...
Jack's a star player on an elite soccer team along with his brother, Alex. The Lancers are on top of the league, even favored to win the National Championship. But the game's about to change. A slick...
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Description-

  • Jack's a star player on an elite soccer team along with his brother, Alex. The Lancers are on top of the league, even favored to win the National Championship. But the game's about to change. A slick bookie wins Jack's friendship and introduces him to illegal betting. Before long, Jack is hooked on the adrenaline rush, and early wins convince him that gambling could make him rich. Meanwhile, an ever-widening rift is forming between the two brothers. Suddenly, Jack's "system" fails and his luck runs out. How could a few losses pile up to a gut-kicking ten grand? When he can't pay, the bookie gives Jack one way out—throw the National Championship. But can he betray his brother, his team and himself?

About the Author-

  • Heather M. O'Connor is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and author. Her book, Betting Game, in the Orca Sports line, was a CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens. Heather lives in Peterborough, Ontario, with her family.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2015
    O'Connor tackles a tough one: a high school soccer star caught in a web of gambling. Jack and his brother, Alex, attend a soccer academy, the kind of institution that grooms students for professional-level play. Their team is a contender for the national championship, but they have just lost their best player to the professional leagues, and a new ringer isn't fitting in with the team. O'Connor will keep the game's fans close with plenty of in-the-know soccer patter, but she will also draw other readers with the story of Jack's slow absorption into a gambling ring. Luka, a flashy Ukrainian with money to burn (a casting choice that falls perilously close to prejudicial stereotyping), befriends Jack, greasing the relationship with some valuable gifts. Readers may find it hard to believe that Jack doesn't realize every word he drops in Luka's ear about his senior-division team-who is hurting, who is away for a game-is fodder for Luka's gambling operation. But Jack does know all about the operation, especially how easy it is to go into debt when the interest is compounded. Jack, Alex, and an unexpected compatriot set up a sting, but not before Luka makes some grisly threats. Hard-hitting (if a little heavily reliant on suspension of belief) and as memorable as a prison tour for young men who think crime is a sport and a joke. (Sports fiction. 10-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2015

    Gr 4-8-Orca's excellent and long-running sports fiction series adds two new installments. In Off the Rim, Dylan, a high school baller, is pleased to finally be added to his team's starting lineup for the play-offs. But his girlfriend Jenna becomes the victim of some disturbing cyberbullying as well as some scary real-life threats. The teens must figure out who's trying to scare them and why. In Betting Game, Jack, a star soccer player, finds himself mixed up in an illegal betting scheme, with the trust of his brother and his teammates on the line. Tight and authentic sports action combined with engaging characters make these titles great for sports fans as well as readers who enjoy action and drama.

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2015
    Grades 6-10 Jack is a star soccer player on a team that grooms athletes for the premiere league. He also works at the club house for the senior league and gains inside information on players, which helps him win fantasy soccer match-ups. His success draws the attention of a smooth-talking bookie whose youth and flashy presents pull Jack into the world of gambling. At first, he can't lose and the money is easy, but Jack quickly learns that one wrong choice can send him spiraling down the rabbit hole known as compounded interest. He owesbig timeand his formerly friendly bookie wants to cash in. The fast-paced writing has enough soccer action to keep reluctant readers turning the pages, and the gambling intrigue, along with a side plot involving a new player on Jack's team, adds to the increasing conflict. Though Jack's naivety about the dangers of gambling is sometimes unconvincing and the Canadian phrases may confuse some readers, the tone, dialogue, and emotional stakes ring true. A solid pick for high/low sports fiction.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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    Orca Book Publishers
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