Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yellow Flag by Robert Lipsyte

I chose this book because of the author, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Kris Hildebrand is a popular stock car driver, but he is forced to take a break due to a concussion. His younger brother, Kyle, takes over for him and does pretty well. The conflict actually revolves around Kyle, because he is forced to make some tough decisions between racing and his school band. He's a gifted trumpet player training for an important performance, but auto racing is forcing him to miss a number of practices. He's feeling pressure from his teacher, classmates, and family about making a commitment to the band or racing. He also has girl issues as he is interested in another member of the band and also a new member of the racing crew.

I'll be honest that many readers may not enjoy this book, because it's mostly about auto racing. I normally would not have chosen a book like this myself, but I enjoyed The Contender which was written by the same author. I enjoy sports, and I liked learning about the backstage workings and strategy of stock car racing. The book includes several car races, and that adds action to the plot. Kyle's family just wants him to do well and be safe, but he has a competitive spirit that pushes him to excel and take risks. His personal conflicts are also unusual and interesting as Kyle must deal with his family's fame and living in the shadow of his popular brother.

Lexile level from 710

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