The Sweetheart of Prosper County
By Jill S. Alexander
Feiwel and Friends, 2009. 212 pgs. Young Adult
Austin wants to be noticed (and not by being teased by Dean Ottmer). She doesn’t want to be standing on the curb at the “no-Jesus” Christmas parade—she wants to be in it. So Austin decides that she will try to be the “Sweetheart of Prosper County” the next year by raising a pet and participating in the Future Farmers of America. As Austin raises her pet rooster, Charles Dickens, she learns a lot about herself and about her mother who has been grieving the death of her husband for six long years.
This is a great story of a young woman maturing and learning who she is and how she will deal with trouble. The setting in east Texas also provides some laughs and a different, and welcomed, feel. Fans of Joan Bauer’s plucky heroines should enjoy Austin’s tale.