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EXPOSURE by Mal Peet

EXPOSURE

By Mal Peet

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3941-9
Publisher: Candlewick

In a nameless South American country, soccer reporter Paul Faustino again finds himself in the midst of an unexpected story. Peet drops the magical realism and sense of history displayed in Keeper (2005) and The Penalty (2007) for something more topical and downright Shakespearian. Fame—and diabolical manager Diego—threatens the love between black soccer star Otello and beautiful, white Desmerelda. Meanwhile, street kid Bush tries to keep his lovely, fame-obsessed sister safe from the forces, criminal and not, preying on the poor. Far more than a retelling, this contains a deft study of class played out through the intertwined stories, a reflection on race and a study of how the masses are opiated (with soccer and beauty), linked by Faustino’s keen observations. It adds up to a wonderful read. The author employs dramatic devices (a cast of characters; script-formatted dialogue) as homage to Othello. Faustino comes across as an insightful reporter but lacks some of the nuance he showed in his previous adventures; ironically, that might just make this more accessible to teen readers. (Fiction. YA)