By Mal Peet
Candlewick Press (MA), Paperback, 9780763643393, 262pp.
Publication Date: March 10, 2009
down. Stunning, original, and compelling." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
As the city of San Juan pulses to summer's sluggish beat, its teenage soccer prodigy, El Brujito, the Little Magician, vanishes without a trace right after he misses a penalty kick and loses a big game for his team. Sports reporter Paul Faustino is reluctantly drawn into the mystery of the athlete's disappearance, and as a story of corruption and murder unfolds, must confront the bitter history of slavery and the power of the occult. This gripping novel from the author of KEEPER and TAMAR is not to be missed.
"I can't begin to describe how terrific this book is. . . . A glorious, cartwheeling, magical, frightening story. . . . Peet uses the fact that soccer players are known to be superstitious — and that great soccer players can appear to be supernatural — to explore ideas of faith, luck, and corruption. But in doing that, he has somehow caught more of the magic and atmosphere of soccer than other, more straightforwardly descriptive writers." — Frank Cottrell Boyce, THE GUARDIAN