3.72 (822 ratings by Goodreads)
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Roberta Ritter hopes to be a journalist one day, but for now she's stuck working at her family's arcade in a dilapidated shopping mall. From her vantage point behind the counter, she sees all the goings-on at the mall - and some things she sees are disturbing. Racism, dirty politics, and drugs are all part of the scene. Roberta doesn't like it, but she's just a fifteen-year-old - so what can she do? Roberta is surprised to find out just how much power she does have. To hone her journalistic skills, she begins to investigate hate crimes at the mall. In the process, she uncovers some shocking information concerning her own mother's death. And as she learns to stand up for herself and the truth, Roberta becomes the kind of person who makes things happen - a crusader.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 492 pages
  • 127 x 177.8 x 30.5mm | 408.24g
  • Harcourt Children's Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0152063145
  • 9780152063146
  • 1,384,252

Back cover copy

FIND THE TRUTHRoberta Ritter looks plain and shy, but her life isn't as boring as people think. There's a dark and deadly secret in Roberta's past: her mother was murdered years ago, and the identity of the killer is still unknown.Roberta spends her afternoons working in a failing arcade in a failing mall, where the only action comes from a violent game called Crusader. When a burst of hate crimes suddenly explodes at the mall, Roberta resolves to find out not only the cause of the crimes, but also the truth behind her mother's death.In a world where nothing is what it first appears to be, Roberta will have to be her own hero . . . and unravel the mystery of her own past.
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Review quote

"Bloor creates a world filled with dark silences and dangerous denials . . . Gripping". -- BCCB
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About Edward Bloor

EDWARD BLOOR is the author of four acclaimed novels. A former high school teacher, he lives near Orlando, Florida.
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Rating details

822 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 26% (215)
4 34% (282)
3 27% (225)
2 10% (80)
1 2% (20)

Our customer reviews

A Crusader is someone who supports a certain cause and a Crusader is also a knight in the 11th-13th centuries who fought to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. Both of these definitions come into play in this long but wonderful mystery. Roberta Ritter is a shy and lonely girl. She is plain but only because she doesn't really care how she looks. Roberta's father owns, along with his brother, a virtual reality arcade in a failing mall in Florida. The family used to have an arcade on the strip, but due to the murder of her mother they sold that franchise and opened this one. Roberta doesn't really have a relationship with her father. He is away a lot and so Roberta and her family act as the store owners at the mall where the arcade is located. At the opening of the story, the arcade is getting a new experience in the form of a Crusader. When violence happens at the mall and an Arab is attacked, Roberta becomes a Crusader to foil whoever is doing this and also decides to find out, along the way, who murdered her mother. This book is long, 591 pages, but excellent! The characterization of the major players was spot on. I felt like I know Roberta and she is one of my good friends. I really cared about what was going on with every character and the storyline was interesting. It wove in politics and the driving force of the media. There was dysfunction everywhere but there was also true love and caring. I recommend this book wholeheartedly!show more
by TeensReadToo
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