The Sweetheart of Prosper County

The Sweetheart of Prosper County
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Release Date
September 01, 2009
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Almost-15-year-old Austin Gray is tired of standing at the curb and watching the parade pass her by. Literally. She decides this is the year she’ll ride on the hood of a shiny pickup truck in the annual parade, waving to the crowd and finally showing the town bully that she’s got what it takes to be the Sweetheart of Prosper County. But far from simply being a beauty contest, becoming Sweetheart involves participation in the Future Farmers of America (FFA), raising an animal, and hunting or fishing. Austin will do almost anything to become Sweetheart, and has the support of her oldest friend, Maribel, her new FFA friends (including the reigning Sweetheart, and a quiet, cute cowboy), an evangelical Elvis impersonator, a mysterious Cajun outcast, and a rooster named Charles Dickens. If only her momma would stop overprotecting her, and start letting Austin live her own life. But Austin can’t move on until Momma moves on, too—and lets the grief of losing Austin’s daddy several years before out into the open. Here is a bighearted story that will leave readers agreeing with Austin that sometimes, it’s not what you ride, it’s how you roll.

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Austin: A Sassy Texan
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Plot/Characters/Writing Style
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Fifteen year old Austin lives in Big Wells, Texas. She wants to be the Sweetheart of the no-Jesus Christmas Parade and be a hood ornament on the lead car. Theres a problem, though. Shes not as pretty or well-endowed as the current Sweetheart, Sundi Knutt. Actually, shes pretty flat, no curves. Also, shes sort of an outsider. Plus, she hasnt won any ribbons at the Prosper County Fair&a requirement for Sweetheart.

So, Austin hatches a plan. She decides shes going to raise a rooster and compete in the fair. She knows her best friend Maribel will support her. She joins the FFA, Future Farmers of America, gets a gorgeous Bantam Rooster and names him Charles Dickens. One problem solved.

Other problems in her life? A major one is Dean Ottmer who razzes her every chance he gets. Austin doesnt go with the flow. She gets upset. Another one is her mother. Ever since Austins father died a few Christmases ago, her mother, Jennie, is over protective and quiet. They dont celebrate Christmas or her birthday anymore. Other than that, everythings fine.

Jill Alexanders debut novel, The Sweetheart of Prosper County is cute. The people are cute. The town is cute. The action is cute. Even the rooster is cute. Even the bad guys are cute. Alexander, who lives in Texas, gives us a birds eye view of life in small-town rural Texas. The book follows Austin from one Christmas parade to the next. She ponders things as they arise: Sundis confidence, the meaning of Maribels quinceanera, her mothers silence regarding her father. The year is a year of growth for Austin.

The Sweetheart of Prosper County is a nicely written book, a book thatll make you smile. So, if youve got a free afternoon and feel like reading a feel good book, Id suggest The Sweetheart of Prosper County. Yee-haw!!!!!
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