cover image Stay in the Game

Stay in the Game

Megan Atwood. Lerner/Darby Creek, $7.99 trade paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-4677-8101-5

In this first book in the Contest series, written at a fourth-grade reading level, African-American high school senior James Trudeleau receives a mysterious email from an anonymous “Benefactor,” who challenges him to compete in a contest with a $10 million prize—money that could pay for an experimental treatment for his dying grandfather. James reluctantly complies, struggling with his moral compass as he performs increasingly dangerous tasks. Breathless pacing and an exciting cliffhanger ending offer solid hooks for readers to seek out the subsequent volumes (Raise the Stakes, Break the Code, and Turn the Tables), all available simultaneously. Ages 11–up. (Feb.)