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Cheating Lessons

Cheating Lessons by Nan Willard Cappo

Could honesty be the worst policy? Sixteen-year-old Bernadette Terrell is a champion debater who adores books, contests, and winning. When she’s named captain of her school’s Classics Bowl team to compete on TV against their private school rival, Bernadette is thrilled. This is more than a chance to earn the state title, win money for college, and bring glory to her run-down Michigan town. It’s even more than a chance to make some nonfictional friends for a change. This contest is what Bernadette has trained for her whole life. Winning is her destiny. Or is it? On the eve of the championship match she discovers that someone she trusts has cheated. And Bernadette is the only one who knows. An honors student who’s always been sure of the right thing to do, now she wonders just what that might be, since “winning” has taken on a new meaning. And yet–it’s still a competition. And she’s still a girl who hates to lose. (From Publisher)

This book delves into the struggle of doing what is right. Ms. Cappo captures the essence of school cliques in high school and the geekiness of bowl teams. One scene stood out as somewhat unrealistic when Bernadette goes to her teacher’s house and was not discovered. That being said, this was a read that younger teens would enjoy. This is a reprint of the original novel which was written almost a decade ago, speaks to the timelessness of this story. Hand this book to teens who like a little mystery with rebellion against an administration.

Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Tadmar Press for an honest review.


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