Bug Boy

Eric Luper

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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It is the summer of 1934, and even at the height of the Great Depression, money is no object for the socialites at posh Saratoga Race Course. The trouble is times are tough for everyone else, especially penniless track workers like fifteenyear- old Jack Walsh. When Jack suddenly graduates from exercise rider to apprentice jockey, or bug boy, he is an overnight sensation. Success brings him all sorts of attention, including that of a brainy blond beauty who is more involved with the gritty underbelly of the track than she lets on and a vicious thug who presses Jack to break his code as a jockey for a payoff that could solve all his family’s problems.

Set amid the rough backstretch of Thoroughbred racing, this edge-of-your-saddle read follows the course of a young athlete whose rise to glory in the most popular sport in America is accompanied by ever-increasing pressure to do something that could leave him trampled in the dirt.

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Book Excerpts

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  IAFTER BEING COOPED UP IN THAT BOXCAR FROM Belmont to Saratoga, Fireside seems just about as desperate to run as I am to ride. That horse tugs at the reins in the hopes I’ll let them loose, and he puffs like a steam engine each time his lead leg strikes the ground. Riding any racehorse for its first workout after traveling is like setting off a stick of dynamite—all that energy needing to get out.And Fireside is no different.Sure, it’s the morning of opening day and all. Heck, everyone’s excited. But Fireside is jumpier than usual and it makes me wonder if he knows

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Praise for Bug Boy

This well-written, engaging story effectively captures the desperate times of the Depression and the hard-edged world of horse racing.” —School Library Journal

“Racing fans and history buffs alike will doubtless enjoy the ride.” —Booklist

“This is a book that's going to make teen boys fall in love with historical fiction without ever knowing what hit them.” —Goodreads.com

“Filled with riches and fraught with danger, Eric Luper's BUG  BOY is an exhilarating ride.” —RichiesPicks.com

“First-rate novel.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Set in 1934 in Saratoga Springs, New York, at the Saratoga Race Track, Luper’s novel is as fast-paced and exciting as the races themselves.” —ALAN Online

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Eric Luper

ERIC LUPER lives in Albany, New York, and is an avid horseracing fan. Of Big Slick, his first novel, Kirkus Reviews said, “Luper’s authentic first-person narrative captures teen frustrations, feelings of confinement, and the mottled world of poker . . . Powerful momentum.”

Eric Luper


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Available Formats and Book Details

Bug Boy
Eric Luper

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
July 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429946599
ISBN10: 1429946598
Young Adult Fiction256 pages
Age Range: 14 to 18
Grade Range: 9 and up Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians

Lexile: 780L
AR Quiz Number: 121400 EN
AR Book Level: 6.2
AR Points: 8


From The Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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