More than anything, Austin Gray was to be a “hood ornament” in the annual Christmas parade. The sweetheart of Prosper County follows Austin on her journey to becoming a Sweetheart, specifically the Future Farmers of America Sweetheart, thus earning a hood. Step one, (after joining the Future Farmers, of course) is raising a prizewinning chicken. Step two: win the hearts and loyalty of her fellow FFA members so that they choose her for Sweetheart.
I’m listening to this book on CD right now and am on the very last disc. It’s not my favorite book of all time, but it is a book worth reading and definitely a change from the vampire-werewolf-fairy-fallen-angel books that seem to be my usual reading choices. ANYWAY, when I first started listening, I thought the book would be mainly about Austin’s ups and downs as she grooms her rooster, Charles Dickens, to blue ribbon winning potential. (Can you blame me? I mean, come on, there’s a picture of a rooster on the cover of the book.) It is not.
This is not a bad thing (unless of course, you really wanted to read a book about rooster raising, in which case you will probably be pretty disappointed). It’s a book about grieving and growing up and friendship. But mostly it’s a book about liking yourself and being proud of it—a nice message that will probably even appeal to rooster-raising fans.
I haven’t read it myself, but I’ve heard that people who like Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s books: Dairy Queen (our copies are gone but I’m ordering more) and The off season may also like The sweetheart of Prosper County. If you’ve read those books and/or this book and are looking for even more like it, I highly recommend books by Joan Bauer, especially Hope was here.