________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 11 . . . . February 3, 2006


Title Run. (Redline Racing Series).

Anthony Hampshire.
Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005.
133 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 1-55041-566-2.

Subject Heading:
Automobile racing-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Marina Cohen.

*** /4


I stood there with $90,000 in cash under my left arm, the Porsche keys in my right hand, and a huge decision to make. I knew the expression, “Everyone has their price”—that for enough money people will do just about anything—but I hadn’t really believed it was true until that moment. I began to feel the tightening grip of a kind of fear that I hadn’t experienced before. It wasn’t the fear that every driver has of breaking his legs or being burned in a race car. This was stronger and came from somewhere much deeper. It was the kind of fear that makes your breath short, that dries out your mouth, that makes your palms sweat, and makes your heart beat hammer inside your head.

I turned and walked slowly back toward our garage. What was at risk was more than pain and injury. It was my character—who I was and what I stood for. Did my loyalty, honesty, and integrity have a price? Was cash, a season in Champ Cars, a six-figure salary, and this gleaming black Porsche enough? Was that my price? I understood then why I was afraid. I was about to find out.


Eddie Stewart and his team are headed from Toronto to Miami for the final race in the North American Formula Atlantic Series. Eddie is coming off a big win in Toronto and has high hopes for the oval in Homestead, Florida. 

     Racing is everything to the rookie driver, a young man of integrity and ambition, but Eddie soon finds his moral and ethical foundations rocked when Raul DaSilva, a rich and ruthless opponent, offers him a large sum of money and spot a on a fanatically independent team if he throws the race. Eddie must ultimately decide where his loyalties lie and just how far he is willing to go to ensure his racing future.

     In Title Run, Hampshire draws the reader into the exciting and dangerous world of auto racing. His humour, racing knowledge and snappy narrative voice zip the reader along in this predictable, yet enjoyable plot. The racing jargon and action scenes are detailed enough for racing fanatics but remain accessible and interesting to laypersons.

     Despite the lack of racing action in the first few chapters, as well as a great deal of “telling”, Hampshire’s first-person narrative, quick pace and wit speed this novel along. Though short chapters and simple vocabulary make Title Run suitable for younger grades, racing scenes and intrigue will maintain the attention of older readers.


Marina Cohen has a Master’s Degree in literature from the University of Toronto and has been teaching in the York Region District School Board for 10 years.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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