WINNERS AND LOSERS by Stephen Hoffius


Age Range: 10 - 14
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 Curt's accustomed to playing second fiddle to his gifted best friend Daryl, both on and off the track. Then Daryl suffers a brief cardiac arrest during a race, and suddenly Curt is The Man in the half-mile--not just to his schoolmates but to Daryl's relentlessly competitive father as well. Driven by jealousy and a need to reclaim his father's regard, Daryl quickly regains his form, but collapses and dies in the championship race. Hoffius re-creates the excitement of racing and winning with a sure touch. Curt--his loyalty, concern, and new-found pride pulling him in different directions--displays nicely balanced ambivalence toward his friend's return. Daryl's father is definitely the villain, with a cruel disregard for his son's feelings and silently condoning his decision to rejoin the team, but, as the author makes clear, Daryl is also a victim of his own anger and ego. Though the characters and situations here are simpler than in Deuker's Heart of a Champion (p. 658)--not to mention Brooks's The Moves Make the Man- -the dangers of a ``win at any cost'' father are explored with some insight. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-79194-X
Page count: 164pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1993