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  • December 2010
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Rivalry-entertaining the masses since the old testament

I will accept no commission that would tend to create a rivalry with Grant. I want him to hold what he has earned and got. I have all the rank I want. – William Tecumseh Sherman

Wow, that’s a pretty nice quote from Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman, eh?  He and General (and 18th President of the United States) U.S. Grant were pretty good chums, but, in this blog post, I’m not concerned with well-adjusted friendships – I’m thinking about rivals!

Rivalry is a big topic in Pittsburgh this week, because the Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens.  Each and every season the Steelers play the Ravens twice and we’re faced with tons of articles about how much the two teams love to play each other because they hate the other team so much.  Let’s face it, they’re onto something – rivalries in sports can be fun!  So cheer on your favorite team and boo the bad guys as much as you like, but try to keep it good-natured, alright?

Though sports immediately springs to mind when you’re thinking of famous rivals (Yankees vs. Red Sox, Harvard vs. Yale, Chelsea vs. Manchester United) there are many other famous (and not so famous) rivalries throughout history and the history of fiction.  Rivalries are compelling, so we’ve got tons of books about the topic.  As semesters wind down and the Holidays invade, hopefully you’ll have some time to check out these books about rivalry:

The Rivalry: mystery at the Army Navy game by John Feinstein – The Black Knights of Army and the Midshipmen of Navy have met on the football field since 1890, and it’s a rivalry like no other, filled with tradition. But this year, the match-up is also filled with intrigue. For weeks, Stevie and Susan Carol have been spending time at Annapolis and West Point, getting to know the players, and coaches. And the secret service agents. Since the president will be attending the game, security will, of course, be tighter than tight. As the game draws nearer Stevie and Susan Carol can tell that the agents are getting tenser. But as usual when Stevie and Susan Carol cover a big event–nothing is quite as it seems, and the coaches aren’t the only ones calling plays…

Bro-jitsu: the martial art of sibling smackdown
by Daniel H. Wilson – Practiced by countless siblings, mastered by few: here is the definitive guide to tormenting one’s brother or sister. From the author of “How to Survive a Robot Uprising” comes this hilarious yet highly informative manual featuring “126 techniques to atain total domination!” 

East of Eden by John Steinbeck – Looking to take on an amazing classic during the holidays?  Then why not read Steinbeck’s masterpiece about two rival families in California’s Salinas Valley who clash over the course of generations (and the twin brothers Cal and Aron, themselves twins and rivals)?  You’ll be glad that you did.

Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim (slacker, hero, wannabe, bass player for the band “Sex Bob-Omb”, and heartbreaker) has fallen in love, but to win the heart of Ramona Flowers Scott has to first defeat her “seven evil ex-boyfriends.”  Follow Scott through six digest-sized graphic novels and see if he can save his “precious little life.”

S.A. Special A by Maki Minami – Her whole life, Hikari Hanazono has been consumed with the desire to win against her school rival, Kei Takishima–at anything. He always comes out on top no matter what he does, and Hikari is determined to do whatever it takes to beat this guy…somehow!At age 6 Hikari lost to Kei in an impromptu wrestling match. Now, at 15, Hikari joins “Special A,” a group of the top seven students at a private academy, for the opportunity to trounce the guy who made her suffer her first defeat.

Bluford High: A Matter of Trust by Anne Schraff – In grade school, Darcy Wills and Brisana Meeks were friends. But all that changed at Bluford High when Darcy started hanging with “the zeros”–a group of students Brisana despises. Now the former friends are bitter rivals, and the tension between them is getting worse. For a while, Darcy tries to stay calm, ignoring her old friend’s daily taunts. But when she learns that Brisana is after her boyfriend, Hakeem Randall, Darcy knows she must do something. But what?

Corey - Main, Teen Dept.

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