The Penalty

The Penalty

by Mal Peet
3.5 2


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The Penalty by Mal Peet

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. Paul Faustino, South America's top sports reporter, is reluctantly drawn into the mystery of the athlete's disappearance. As a story of corruption and murder unfolds, Faustino is forced to confront the bitter history of slavery and the power of the occult. A deftly woven mystery flush with soccer and suspense, this gripping novel is one that shouldn't be missed.

From the award-winning author of TAMAR, a time-shifting thriller about a vanishing soccer star, occult secrets, and the dark history of slavery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763633998
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 08/14/2007
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.06(h) x 1.03(d)
Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Mal Peet (1947–2015) is the acclaimed author of the Carnegie Medal–winning novel Tamar as well as the  Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Life: An Exploded Diagram and three Paul Faustino novels: Keeper, The Penalty, and Exposure, a winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. He is also the co-author of Cloud Tea Monkeys, Mysterious Traveler, and Night Sky Dragons, all of which he wrote with his wife, Elspeth Graham.

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Penalty 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mal Peet is proof that YA is not synonymous with unsophisticated. The Penalty is worthy of attention from a variety of reading circles. Part suspense, part historical fiction, and part fantasy, this story chronicles the abduction of the soccer protégé, Ricardo Gomes de Barrors, known as El Brujito (the magician) to his fans. Sports writer, Paul Faustino, is covering another story, but becomes embroiled in the intrigue when one of his journalist colleagues is murdered, and then when he, himself, is abducted in an effort to gain publicity and freedom for El Brujito. The plot moves quickly, although the story changes perspective between Faustino and the El Brujito¿s ancestor. Woven into the story is the historical background of slave trading and holding that took place in South America¿a little known historical tidbit. While not exactly a sequel to The Keeper, one of Mal Peet¿s heavily awarded earlier books, this stand alone story continues to follow Paul Faustino¿s treks. Given how much I enjoyed the story, I am mightily tempted to read the first couple of books by this author. Students who enjoy the supernatural, voodoo, intrigue, or sports will enjoy this. History teachers might find this an excellent book for excerpts that would be a great catalyst for any discussion about human rights and slavery.