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YELLOW FLAG by Robert Lipsyte

YELLOW FLAG

By Robert Lipsyte

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-055707-2
Publisher: HarperTeen

Kyle Hildebrand isn’t the chosen one in his racing family. He’s a talented trumpet player and will always be little brother to Kris who is a born racer ready to advance to the Cup circuit. But Kyle isn’t sure if he wants to completely separate himself from racing. When Kris suffers a concussion in a crash, the injury prevents him from being behind the wheel. It’s all about keeping the car in competition, so the family powers have Kyle “keep the seat warm” until Kris is able to resume driving. He surprises everyone by placing fourth. Caught between two worlds, Kyle is unable to commit fully to either. Lipsyte has done his homework by describing track action that is spot on, and NASCAR fans will feel right at home. But off the track, the author’s comparisons of racing to playing music come across as something of a moral lesson. Small complaints aside, this is one of the few current young-adult titles connected to on-track action and easily pulls away from other racing titles. (Fiction. YA)