Rugby Flyer

176p. (Rugby Spirit: Bk. 4). ebook available. Dufour Editions. Sept. 2016. pap. $12. ISBN 9781847178190.
Gr 5–8—In this addition to a UK series for middle schoolers, Irish schoolboy Eoin Madden is selected to attend a prestigious rugby summer camp run by the Leinster professional team. This presents a problem for Eoin, as he is from Munster and Leinster is Munster's most hated rival. He decides to accept Leinster's offer, however, and leads his team to victory, overcoming various difficulties in the process, including having to skip out at the final game's half-time to return half of a priceless Fabergé Easter egg to the ghost of a Russian prince who died in World War I. The narrative is complicated, confusing, and more than a bit muddled. Rugby-mad youngsters could conceivably be carried along by the game action, but for the uninitiated on this side of the Atlantic, talk of scrum-halves, rucks, and line-outs will likely prove as much of an obstacle as the novel's fantastical premise.
VERDICT An Irish stew likely to be unpalatable to American tastes.

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