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The Rivalry: Mystery at the Army-Navy Game (The Sports Beat, 5) Hardcover – September 28, 2010


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The Rivalry: Mystery at the Army-Navy Game (The Sports Beat, 5) + Vanishing Act: Mystery at the U.S. Open (The Sports Beat, 2)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Sports Beat
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375865705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375865701
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9–Intrepid teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are once again granted extraordinary access to the behind-the-scenes action at a major sports event. In the course of pursuing their journalistic duties, they meet a number of real-life celebrities including journalist Bob Woodward, legendary basketball coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Bobby Knight, politico Ed Rendell, golfer Phil Mickelson, and sports commentator Tony Kornheiser. Even Barack Obama works the kids into his schedule. Since the “mystery” (involving corrupt officials at the Army/Navy game) is not introduced until page 225, there is plenty of room for background on the service academies' rivalry, as well as other seemingly random topics (a story line on Susan Carol's participation in a swim meet, for instance, is dropped into the middle of the narrative, and abruptly abandoned). Even aspiring sports journalists will find it difficult to stick with this meandering effort.–Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In their latest adventure, precocious 14-year-old reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson get a chance to help major Washington newspapers cover the Army-Navy football game and stumble across an illegal gambling racket, perpetrated by the game’s officiating squad. Along the way, the cub reporters meet a number of actual famous people (Bob Woodward and Barack Obama, among others). Some of the dropped names of retired players and other old guys will have little resonance with young readers, and fans of the series will recognize that the mystery here isn’t as compelling as those in previous installments. Still, sports fans, especially college football followers, will enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at the famous game. Grades 6-9. --Todd Morning

More About the Author

John Feinstein spent years on the staff at the Washington Post, as well as writing for Sports Illustrated and the National Sports Daily. He is a commentator on NPRs "Morning Edition," a regular on ESPNs "The Sports Reporters" and a visiting professor of journalism at Duke University.His first book, A Season on the Brink, is the bestselling sports book of all time. His first book for younger readers, Last Shot, was a bestseller.

Customer Reviews

Susan Carol and Stevie solve the mystery yet again!
T. Hayes
Each aspect of this game is steeped in history and pride, and is woven in through fascinating details.
Teen Reads
I recommend this book to sports lovers, especially those who want an easy and quick read.
Jake

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cyrus Webb TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Once again John Feinstein has taken his incredible skills as a writer and reporter to the page and given readers young and old a great mystery in THE RIVALRY. Giving his two heroes Stevie and Susan Carol access to the game that only he could, he takes us into a world where even a football game is not what it appears to be---and the winners and losers are not always on the field.

With engaging dialogue and a storyline that keeps you turning the pages, there's no wonder that Feinstein is in a league all of his own.

THE RIVALRY was chosen by Conversations Book Club as one of its top 10 books in 2010 for young adults.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on February 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The latest addition to Edgar Award-winning author John Feinstein's excellent sports mystery series finds Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson covering the Army-Navy football game for their national newspaper jobs. They quickly learn about the intense rivalry dating back over 110 years and get up to speed on the current issues, including suspicious officials and heavy secret service attention. Juggling sports writing, freshman year of high school, and even their budding romance is difficult, but it certainly makes for fast-paced, fun reading.

In THE RIVALRY, Feinstein ties in his in-depth knowledge of the nationally famous Army-Navy rivalry as he wrote a book about it titled A CIVIL WAR: ARMY VS. NAVY: A Year Inside College Football's Purest Rivalry. The players are not eying NFL contracts; instead, they're looking for honor before heading out for five years of serving their country. Each aspect of this game is steeped in history and pride, and is woven in through fascinating details.

The presence of the secret service alerts Stevie and Susan Carol that this is no ordinary game, as the President plans to attend. Susan Carol is assigned to travel with Navy to a Notre Dame game, the last competition before Army-Navy. She eats with the midshipmen, interviews them and learns about their special traditions. Stevie spends his time with the Army side, going to a game with Georgia Tech for similar coverage. But at Susan Carol's game, she and the rest of the reporters are stunned by some unbelievable calls, which lead to a Notre Dame victory. She writes a scathing article for the Post, which leads to her getting threatening letters and emails to the editor.

Stevie manages to get into some trouble as well when he argues with former basketball coach Bobby Knight.
Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Derrick - Buffalo on February 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
We purchased this book for my 9 year old son who is an avid reader and loves football. He mostly reads on his own, and had complained that he was having trouble understanding what was going on in this book. I began reading the book aloud to him to help explain as we went along and I couldn't believe the number of characters in the book. I picked a page a random, and counted that there were 9 different characters referenced... on one page! Several of whom don't appear to have any relevance to the story. For younger readers, I recommend Football Hero by Tim Green - it's a better story and much, much easier to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David A wagner on June 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was disappointed. I have read other books by Feinstein which were much

better. This book was unrealistic reading. I probably will not read anymore books by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on December 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Feinstein stayed true to his sports-reporting origins in The Rivalry. This book is focused primarily on the actual sporting event, and Feinstein described in detail the essence of the Army-Navy game. Readers learn about both schools' histories, the traditions of the game, and about college football.

The mystery itself is not at the core of the book, making the plot a little hard to follow. In fact, the mystery itself doesn't even come into play until late in the story. However, the true sports fan will prefer this book over the rest of the Last Shot series. If you're looking for more Stevie-Susan Carol romance, this is not your book, as their relationship does not progress or get affected in any way by this story - a good thing in my opinion.

Overall, the only reason why this book isn't the best of the Last Shot series is that the original has an easier plot to follow. However, this stays true to Feinstein's sports fanatacism, and will delight youth sports fans everywhere.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on February 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The latest addition to Edgar Award-winning author John Feinstein's excellent sports mystery series finds Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson covering the Army-Navy football game for their national newspaper jobs. They quickly learn about the intense rivalry dating back over 110 years and get up to speed on the current issues, including suspicious officials and heavy secret service attention. Juggling sports writing, freshman year of high school, and even their budding romance is difficult, but it certainly makes for fast-paced, fun reading.

In THE RIVALRY, Feinstein ties in his in-depth knowledge of the nationally famous Army-Navy rivalry as he wrote a book about it titled A CIVIL WAR: ARMY VS. NAVY: A Year Inside College Football's Purest Rivalry. The players are not eying NFL contracts; instead, they're looking for honor before heading out for five years of serving their country. Each aspect of this game is steeped in history and pride, and is woven in through fascinating details.

The presence of the secret service alerts Stevie and Susan Carol that this is no ordinary game, as the President plans to attend. Susan Carol is assigned to travel with Navy to a Notre Dame game, the last competition before Army-Navy. She eats with the midshipmen, interviews them and learns about their special traditions. Stevie spends his time with the Army side, going to a game with Georgia Tech for similar coverage. But at Susan Carol's game, she and the rest of the reporters are stunned by some unbelievable calls, which lead to a Notre Dame victory. She writes a scathing article for the Post, which leads to her getting threatening letters and emails to the editor.

Stevie manages to get into some trouble as well when he argues with former basketball coach Bobby Knight.
Read more ›
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