Sophomore Undercover by Ben Esch

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For fifteen-year-old, adopted Vietnamese orphan Dixie Nguyen, high school is one long string of hard-to-swallow humiliations. He shares a locker with a nudist linebacker, his teachers are incompetent, and he’s stuck doing fluff pieces for the school newspaper. But Dixie's luck takes a turn when he stumbles across one of the jocks using drugs in the locker room; not only does he finally have something newsworthy to write, but the chance to strike a blow against his tormentors at the school as well.

However, when his editor insists he drop the story and cover homecoming events instead, Dixie sets off on his own unconventional—and often misguided—investigation. He soon discovers that the scandal extends beyond the football team to something far bigger and more sinister than he ever thought possible. Once he follows the guidelines of his hero, Mel Nichols (journalism professor at Fresno State University and author of the textbook Elementary Journalism) this high school reporter just might save the world. That is, of course, if Dixie can stay out of juvenile hall, the hospital, and new age therapy long enough to piece it all together.

Part social satire, part teen-mystery parody, and wholly hilarious, Sophomore Undercover is a dazzling debut that will make headlines with teens everywhere.

About Ben Esch

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Author Bio: Ben Esch received his Bachelor's degree in creative writing from UC Berkeley. He lives in Northern California and is hard at work on his next novel, Kid Liberty.
Published February 24, 2009 by Disney-Hyperion. 256 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books. Fiction

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Fourteen-year-old Stilton High sophomore Dixie Nguyen is the only student who works on the school paper.

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