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Cover-Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl

Cover-Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl

4.2 65
by John Feinstein

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The Super Bowl. America's biggest sports spectacle. Over 95 million fans will be watching. But teen sportswriters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson know that what they'll be watching is a lie. They know that the entire offensive line of the California Dreams have failed their doping tests. They know the owner is trying to cover up the results. The only thing they


The Super Bowl. America's biggest sports spectacle. Over 95 million fans will be watching. But teen sportswriters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson know that what they'll be watching is a lie. They know that the entire offensive line of the California Dreams have failed their doping tests. They know the owner is trying to cover up the results. The only thing they don't know is how to prove it.

"Every teen with NFL or ESPN dreams will appreciate Feinstein's latest sports mystery." --VOYA

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
When fourteen-year-old Stevie is fired as the co-host for USTV's Kid-Sports program, it looks like he is going to miss both the Super Bowl and his opportunity to work with Susan Carol again. He is devastated until he calls his mentor, who arranges to have him attend the Super Bowl as a journalist for the Washington Herald. Stevie's week in Indianapolis is fantastic (literally). He not only writes his daily column for the Herald, he is asked to be part of the "talent" for CBS. This credential gets him into everything. He, of course, connects with Susan Carol and they discover the shocking news that the defensive line of one of the teams has actually flunked the drug test and the results are being concealed. Stevie and Susan Carol become embroiled in first proving that this is so and then revealing the truth to the world. Everything falls into place for them (perhaps a bit too neatly) and they publish the big scoop on the day of the game. The enormity of Super Bowl week is evident; the hype around the football players, the tension of the media, and the pressure of the crowds are well portrayed. Sports fans will enjoy this third book about these likeable teenage journalists.
VOYA - Teri S. Lesesne
Susan Carol and Stevie are back after solving mysteries at the U.S. Open and the Final Four tournament in Feinstein's Vanishing Act (2006/VOYA October 2006) and Last Shot (Knopf, 2005/VOYA February 2005). Now they are scheduled to go to Indianapolis to cover the Super Bowl in their role as reporters for a kids' sports show. Stevie, however, receives some unwelcome news before he can depart for Indy: He is being replaced on the television show. Susan Carol's new partner will be one of the lead singers of a popular boy band. Stevie is devastated, and Susan Carol vows to walk off the job. She must fulfill her contract at least for now. Stevie, fortunately, is invited to come to Indianapolis by his newspaper reporter friend Bobby, who secures him a press pass. When Stevie and Susan Carol stumble across a potential scandal, they must again play the role of teen sleuths to get to the truth. That puts their lives and even the Super Bowl game in a precarious situation. Can they expose this cover-up without coming to harm or ruining the reputation of some of the key players? Feinstein knows and understands his audience. Reluctant readers, especially those who love football, will find this book a compelling read. The short chapters seem to rush the action along, much as rushes on a football field, at a breakneck pace. Chapter titles are sports terms that signal the action to be covered in the next several pages. Certainly every teen with NFL or ESPN dreams will appreciate Feinstein's latest sports mystery.
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
Stevie and Susan Carol, both 14, are famous sports-TV reporters. Now covering the Super Bowl, they stumble into an even bigger story: five offensive linemen have failed their steroid tests and there has been a huge conspiracy to cover it up. Even allowing for the unlikely scenario of 14-year-olds having a national audience and impeccable journalistic skills, this story falls short. It requires a base of knowledge of sports figures that some readers may lack, leaving them to try to sort out an array of characters who are not effectively described. Still, the teens are well crafted and the villains are extraordinary. Cover-Up will appeal to well-versed sports aficionados, but for a guaranteed winner highlighting steroid abuse, stick with Robert Lipsyte's Raiders Night (HarperTempest, 2006).
—Leah KrippnerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
As 14-year-old Steve heads to Indianapolis to cover the Super Bowl with fellow reporter Susan Carol Anderson, Bill Thomas tells his son, "Just promise me you won't get into any trouble this week." But when they get to Indianapolis, they uncover a plot to cover up drug tests failed by the offensive line of the California Dreams, and the junior Woodward and Bernstein face a nervous quarterback, a drunken letch, an outraged owner of the Dreams and hired thugs trying to get the reporters to back off. The third of Feinstein's sports mysteries, after Last Shot (2005) and Vanishing Act (2006), this has become an enjoyable formula. The pace is brisk, readers get to rub shoulders with sports celebrities, there's more than a hint of romance between Steve and Susan Carol and the story ends with a moral: "The truth will bring the bad guys down." Sure to be a hit with sports fans, who will look forward to future installments hinted at on the final page: a scandal at the Olympics? The World Series? (Fiction. 10-14)
From the Publisher
“Sure to be a hit with sports fans.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An entertaining mix of mystery, insider detail (including cameos by bigname sports media figures), and ripped-from-the-headlines subject matter”—Booklist

“Fast-paced action . . . a glamorous background.”—The Horn Book

“Every teen with NFL or ESPN dreams will appreciate Feinstein’s latest sports mystery”—VOYA

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Steve Thomas & Susan Carol Anderson Series
Product dimensions:
5.73(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

For a few seconds, Stevie couldn’t understand anything Susan Carol was saying. Between the rush of words and her southern accent, most of what he heard was gibberish. He was picking up perhaps two words a sentence.
“Hate them . . . Never, ever . . . The nerve . . . Can’t be trusted . . . Hate them.”
The second time he heard ‘hate them’ he broke in because he guessed she was repeating herself. “Calm down,” he said.
He realized he was smiling. Her anger was one part amusing and about five parts touching. She seemed to be more upset about what had happened than he was. And her tirade was making him feel much better.
“What did you tell them?” he said when she finally paused to take a breath.
“I told them they better find themselves another girl, that there was only one person I would work with and some eye candy guy named Jamie Whitsitt, of all things, was not that person.”
“Who is Jamie Whitsitt?”
He heard her sigh, the kind of sigh he usually heard when she seemed convinced he was too stupid to live.
“Jamie Whitsitt is the lead singer of the ‘Best Boys.’ He is gorgeous but I couldn’t care less. I’m not working with him.”
Remarkably, Stevie had heard of ‘Best Boys,’ if only because he had heard the girls in his class oohing and aahing about them at lunch time. “Aren’t those guys a lot older than us?” he asked.
“He’s eighteen. They don’t care. Shupe said we were a ‘perfect match.’ I told him I didn’t care, that the show was supposed to be about two kid reporters–reporters–not some damn rock star.”
Stevie almost gagged. He had never heard Susan Carol say anything stronger than gosh darn up until now.
“So what did they say to all that?”
“They said they were going to talk to my dad–who’s not home right now. They said they understood why I’d be upset about this and they thought loyalty was a great thing but I’d breach my contract if I didn’t keep doing the show; and that not only would I not get paid but they might take me to court.”
“Whoa! They threatened to sue you? Unbelievable!”
“Remind me to listen to Bobby and Tamara when they say something from now on will you?”
Tamara Mearns was Bobby Kelleher’s wife. He was a sports columnist for the Washington Herald; she for the Washington Post. The two of them had become Stevie and Susan Carol’s journalism mentors. Both had urged them strongly to resist the temptations of money and fame put on the table by USTV. They hadn’t listened.
Stevie took a deep breath. “I want you to listen to me for a minute,” he said.
“Okay. What?”
“I don’t want you to quit.”
“WHAT . . . ?”
“Hang on a minute. First, there is the money issue. They’re probably bluffing about suing you. But I still get paid in this thing and you don’t. Second, you’re good at this and there’s no reason for you to stop doing it on my account. I’ll be fine. It isn’t as if my career’s over–I’m fourteen. Third, when the year is over, you can either walk away from doing this kind of stuff or, if you want, there will be 10 other TV jobs at other places you could have.”
There was a long silence on the other end of the phone.
“Did your dad tell you to say all this?”
Why was it, he thought, that she always knew everything. He considered lying for a second, but decided the heck with it. Lying was for TV guys.
“Yes he did,” he said, finally. “But I thought about it before I actually said it, and I think he’s right. And if you think about it when you calm down a little you’ll probably decide he’s right too.”
“Stop telling me to calm down.”
“Okay. But you’ll think about it?”
She sighed again, this time not the ‘too stupid to live,’ sigh but one of sadness. “I’ll think about it,” she said.
“Good. Call me after you talk to your dad, okay?”
“I will.”
He was about to say goodbye when he heard her say, “Stevie?”
“I really do love you, you know.”
He wasn’t sure how to answer that one. They were fourteen and had kissed once. Still, the answer that came out of his mouth felt right.
“I love you too.”

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

JOHN FEINSTEIN is the author of many bestselling books, including A Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled. His books for young readers offer a winning combination of sports, action, and intrigue, with Last Shot receiving the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best young adult mystery of the year. He lives in Potomac, Maryland, and Shelter Island, New York, with his family.

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Cover-up 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
NgoT More than 1 year ago
This book is about Stevie and another girl Susan Carol both are in the 8th grade and 14.  These two are reporters but one reports for CBS and another is a TV star for USTV. In other events they have broke big stories in basketball and tennis now they have gone to the super bowl to cover the California Dreams and the Balitmore Ravens. Yet again they have found another huge story to break like any other book this guy has written.  Don Meeker owned of the California Dreams is trying to cover up that his offensive line is on steroids and is trying to cover it up what they don't know is who is in on this but they soon realize they're in a huge mess because of all of this their parents are made because its happened again.  To be honest I did not enjoy this series or any of the books but i just kept reading its a awful book one of the worst books I've seen in a while its the same book in different sports there is not action i wouldn't reccomand this book unless your really in to mystery.  I liked how in the end it works out in the end like in every other book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the book Cover-Up It is about two 14 year old reporters, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol, who analyze sports data. They have became a bit famous by cracking huge like a kidnapping at the U.S. open and blackmailing in NCAA championship basketball. Two small teens cracking 2 huge sports scandals. Then the biggest most watched event, the super bowl was right around the corner. The Los Angelas Dreams were the team projected to win it all. Just to make sure their was no sports enhancers taken by any players, all the players were to be tested so it would be a fair game. A week before the super bowl, there was a party for the Los Angelas Dreams. The Doctor for the Dreams enhanced to much alcohol and was intoxicated. He started blurting out secrets that nobody should have known. One of them included that all of the Dreams' offensive lineman had taken steroids and failed the test. He also said that the coach of the Dreams is trying to cover it up just so they would win. Just when Stevie and Susan heard that they went straight to investigating. A week went by and it was the day of the super bowl. Over 20 million people were tuned in ready to watch some football. Will Susan and Stevie save the super bowl? Will the cheaters get caught? That is up for you to find out. If you are into suspense and sports this book is a great choice. I give this book a 7.5 because even though im all into sports im not a fan on mystery/suspense books. For some reason they never really make me want to read more. But you and I could be very different that is just my opinion. Also if you are around the age group from 6th grade to Sophmore year, this is a great choice for your level.
CookA47 More than 1 year ago
Cover up is a good book about two kids who frequently find out conspiracies in sports. Steven and Susan Carol catch Don Meeker who is covering up that all five of their linemen tested positives for steroids. I liked that they did the right thing, but its kind of far fetched in the series the way that every major sports event they go to has a some kind of conspiracy. If you like suspense or mystery books, then you might like this one.
Theboss3 More than 1 year ago
Cover Up,by John Feinstein,entertains the reader with vivid description and lots of drama. Feinstein did a great job of putting a good picture of the charecters and drama in your mind. The reader can easily picture the authors stress when Stevie was waiting for the QB to show up with the documents,making him wonder if he was joking about when he said he would meet them at the pool. This story tought a great lesson- even though you have a cover up you still might be caught. I would recommend Cover Up to anyone who likes sports mysterys.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm older than the tweleve range but this book is still good. I'm a huge sports fan. It gets the attention of sports people, but even the non-sports people. Also you don't have to really understand football to get the book. Great plot and book you hate to put down. Totally recommend this to all ages and interest in books. My cousin who's three years younger and her mother both enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cover up is an amazing sequel to great mystery stories from John Feinstein of two romantic teens who are living an amazing life with fame and solving mysteries
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cover-up John Feinstein Knopf Books for Young Readers Realistic sport mystery Do you want to read about sports? Tired of reading the same thing? Well in Cover-up John Feinstein takes you to the dark side of sports in this mystery at the Super bowl. The main characters, Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson, have known each other for almost a year, meeting at the Final Four in New Orleans. Stevie and Susan Carol have a T.V. show every Friday about sports, until one day when the hated producer of the channel comes to Stevie¿s house. Stevie is fired, and that's when there is some heat created between the jerk-producer and Stevie. Stevie and Susan Carol get permission to go to the Super bowl with friend and sport¿s writer Bobby Kelleher. Stevie earned the right to go because he wrote a story every day for Kelleher. Susan Carol was still with the T.V. company, and she was at the Super bowl with them, and with a new co-host, a teen pop sensation who took Stevie¿s spot. Stevie and Susan Carol argued for a few days before she called Stevie at 2:00 am. For the third time, Stevie and Susan Carol have got themselves in a mess. A mess to do with HGH, the California Dreams starting linemen, and a huge cover-up. The main character in this book, like the other two in the series, is Stevie Thomas. Stevie lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and loves sports. But to his misfortune, in the last year he has gotten about ten people arrested in three different sports. Stevie is about five-foot eight inches, and is athletic, he is very friendly. In Cover-up he eats a lot, due to his growing. He has a special mind for sports, it seems like he knows everything, but he is usually outsmarted by Susan Carol Anderson who is the second most important character in the book. Susan Carol lives in North Carolina, where her dad is a priest. Susan Carol is very tall, about five-foot ten inches. Susan Carol is very emotional through the book, and most people mistake her for being in high-school, or even an adult. Susan Carol is an outstanding swimmer, she is ranked in the top ten butterfly swimmers in the United States. She and Stevie are friends, and both are eighth graders. Don Meeker is the owner of the California Dreams, a fictional football team in the NFL. Don is an older man, and very grumpy. Sometimes, he is a jerk, he is also very stubborn and greedy. Don Meeker is the richest team owner in the NFL. 'Not in real life.' Don is often made fun of by sport writer Bobby Kelleher for being short, these two men have had a grudge against each other for awhile. Stevie isn¿t exactly ¿friends¿ with Don Meeker either. The characters all have different emotions and personalities that make this book as exciting as it is. There are a few things that make this book as good as it is. I think the reason why kids that like sports would like this book is because it has a great football theme and has a good who-done-it plot throughout the story. I also think this is a good book for children is because it introduces the negative aspects of HGH and Steroid use, which is good to learn about at a young age. There is a lot of HGH and other performance enhancing drugs out there today, and kids should know how to deal with them, like Stevie and Susan Carol did. There is a lot of chemistry between Stevie and Susan Carol, and this is a good book to show good friendship, responsibility, and trust. This book has a great example on what media can do to or for kids. Stevie and Susan Carol have to deal with a lot of pressure and stress as a result of the media. This is a great book to teach children what the dark side of sports is and a how important a strong friendship is to have.
Anonymous 15 days ago
1.5 out of 5 stars Cover-Up By, John Feinstein     If you are looking for a sports based book, DO NOT READ THIS! I would highly recommend reading this book only if you want a mystery (which still wasn’t great). There was very minimal sports action which was why I chose to read this book. But if you want a mystery based book, this one is still just alright. To summarize the plot in two sentences, a man by the name of Don Meeker is trying to cover up the usage of steroids on his offensive line on his football team. Then two teenage sports reporters are able to find his big secret and expose him. The plot itself is pretty good and has great potential. But the reason it didn’t use its full potential was because it just wasn’t realistic. I agree with ‘CookA47’ that it’s “far fetched”. It would be highly unlikely that two teenagers would be put in a situation where they are uncovering and proving a coach of a football team of drug use within his team. And it’s even more unrealistic that they actually solve it and prove it to the media! If there were detectives involved and it was made more realistic, I would rate the book higher. However, Feinstein did have great characterization. My favorite character is Stevie. The reason I like him is because I am personally jealous of his job and lifestyle. I mean, what kind of kid wouldn’t want to have a television show on their great hobby’s? It is also amazing how he got to go to the city for the superbowl. No parents with him, just himself. He worked alot while he was there, but the city’s vibes during the super bowl must have been great to experience in person. I also like him the most because Feinstein made him to have a good humor. He was very witty and could crack a smile with just a one liner. Another detail about him to not be left out is, his feelings for Susan Carol. This wasn’t necessarily why I liked him, but it did show how he had a passionate and caring side to him. His character had great depth between his humor and his caring side.     My favorite quote out of the book is, “‘Go to hell’” (Feinstein 190). This quote came from Susan Carol’s mouth. I like it because throughout the story she seems rather kind and gentle. But This quote shows that she is strong and will stand for herself and others. It’s ironic because I would expect Stevie to say that before her just because he comes off as a more confident character to me. But it shows that everyone has a limit and once pushed, they won’t just take it anymore.        
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I mite buy this but b4 i do i wont buy it unless stevie and susan carol do it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I is one of the best susan carol and stevie thomas book ever it talks about real life situations like all of there other book but this is one of the most recent problem in sports
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good book, it is probabaly the best of the series!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a awesome book great story another great book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read The rivalry as well. I LOVE his books!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a Book Cover Up, a best seller by John Feinstein was one of the best books I've ever read. I liked the suspense in the book and I also liked the idea of putting kids in the story plot. I think that this book is the best book in the series. Stevie and Susan Carol have solved other mysteries at the Final Four and at the US Open. But this is the Super Bowl. It is the biggest sports event in America and maybe the whole world. Can Stevie and Susan get enough proof to explain that the Dreams offensive line failed their doping test? Find out by reading "Cover Up", John Feinsteins number one seller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christian Oien More than 1 year ago
Johm feinstein is my favorite author by far. His books never disappoint me and they are so addicting! I love how they get to travel to the super bowl to find out 5 players drug tested positive and the league is covering it up. This is a MUST read for any sports fan, including all his other books. I hope his next one comes out soon
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