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The Next Sure Thing
By author: Richard Wagamese
Selling Points: Gambling, violence, trust, integrity, First Nations, indigenous
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2011
Fry Reading Level: 3.8
Pages: 144
Adult Fiction
Price:  $9.95
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Suddenly I didn't like Hardy much. Beyond the charm and the dazzle was a coldness that worried me. His henchmen were buffoons, but there was a hard ugliness behind their playful natures. Still, the roll of bills felt good in my hand.

Cree Thunderboy wants nothing less than to be the next great blues man. But, playing to tiny audiences in shabby rooms like Shelly's Crab Shack, his career is stalled. Then at the race track he meets Win Hardy, a seemingly charming rogue who spots Cree's knack for picking winning horses. He offers to record his first CD and send him on tour, as long as Cree can keep coming up with the hot tips at the track.

Things are looking good for Cree until he discovers Win's connections to the mob and his violent response to anything that doesn't go his way. And when things inevitably go bad, Cree discovers that in life and in gambling there is never really the next sure thing.
Canadian Literature - April 1, 2013
"As the native identity of the main character is not emphasized, the story is an uplifting read for anyone who refuses to become a victim. The fast-paced plot and engaging conversational style is well suited for...reluctant readers."
Trafalgar School for Girls Online Magazine - January 11, 2012
"As fast-paced as the races described within...[Cree's] voice is constant and endearing...I would recommend [it] especially to boy reluctant readers."
CM Magazine - January 6, 2012
"[An] interesting and fast-paced read. One of the biggest strengths of the novel is Cree and his best friend, Ashton. Cree is honest and well developed....The novel handles the issue of gambling in a mature manner...The Next Sure Thing is part of the 'Rapid Reads' series that is aimed at reluctant adult readers. However, the book will appeal to older teen readers who are looking for something faster paced and shorter in length then some YA fiction."
Crowding the Book Truck blog - November 11, 2011
"Wagamese, an Ojibway author and storyteller, has crafted a very strong story. Another thing that I really love is that this is part of the Rapid Reads series, a [series] of original, high-interest books that are designed for adult learners to enjoy."
Library Journal - October 1, 2011
"A clever puzzle that features a young man seeking to make his way."

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