Can enemies become friends?
That’s the question at the heart of THE CONTENDERS, a novel featuring two fifth graders who couldn’t be more different or hate each other more.
Eunice Yang wants two things in life: to win The Contest and to beat Thad Warfield.
Only fifth graders can compete in Soap Lake’s annual Brawn and Brains Contest. Winning first place means Eunice will finally get the bike she’s always wanted. But what she wants even more than her dream bike is to beat Thad Warfield, her archenemy since first grade.
But this year, The Contest’s hundredth anniversary, the rules change. Now, students have to compete in teams of two. Eunice’s worst nightmare comes true. She’s partnered with—Thad.
Together, Eunice and Thad careen through a year filled with cutthroat competitions, vicious squabbles, and visits to the principal's office. It’s a close race to the very end, when Eunice discovers that being a contender takes more than just brawn and brains—it takes heart—and there are some things more important than winning.
Perfect for kids aged 8 to 108, and especially loved by 3rd to 6th graders.
Written by Peg Cheng and illustrated by Erin Kubo. 148 pages. Color cover with 20 B&W illustrations. 8”H x 5.25”W. Printed in the U.S.A.
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26 reviews5 out of 5 stars
I loved this book! As an adult who loves children's books, this book is also one I would love to give as a gift in the future. The story was very sweet and the heroine Eunice is spunky, sometimes prone to losing her temper (and which little girl doesn't when the world is UNFAIR! Eunice is bullied by Thad, her archnemesis since first grade) and surrounded by lots of people who love her. Eunice is fatefully paired up with Thad as a teammate to compete in Soap Lake's Brawn and Brain's Contest, which she has dreamed of winning for years! Will they be able to make it through this year of cutthroat competition? Will Eunice win the enticing red bike she has ALWAYS wanted? The Contenders is a really touching, fun, heart-warming tale of the bully and the bullied and what success & winning really mean. It left me misty-eyed!
I read this when first published but did not have the illustrated version! It shipped so quickly and came with delightful stickers! The illustrations are fantastic and the story itself is wonderful. So good that I ordered a few for my kid's school library!
I haven't read it yet but I was thrilled to open my new book today to find both the author and illustrator signed my copy! Peg noticed before I did that shipment seemed to be delayed and got in touch with me before I had a chance to wonder. You can definitely count on great customer service from this shop.
Photos from reviews