Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
It's not NASCAR or the Indy 500. It is small town, dirt track racing. There's dust in the air, and colorful characters racing their cars around the track. There's plenty of competition, an intense desire to win, and enough mystery and intrigue to keep even non-racing fans on the edge of their seats.
SATURDAY NIGHT DIRT is set at Headwaters Speedway in Minnesota. Mel Walters and her father, Johnny Walters, are struggling to keep their little race track in business. Johnny, once a driver himself, is now confined to a wheelchair after a tragic accident years ago. Mel's mother needed only a few short weeks to determine she couldn't stay married to a man in a wheelchair, so Mel and her dad have been on their own for quite some time.
Still in high school, Mel acts as track manager, and she is probably the sole reason for the track's continued success. The story begins and ends on one Saturday. Because of Mel's drive and determination, it's a Saturday that makes history for the track and just might breathe some new life into it.
Other members of the cast of characters include several young racers like Trace, Amber, and Beau hoping to make their mark in racing. There's Patrick, who handles parking and sings the national anthem before the night's racing begins. Maurice is a retired navy man who handles the signal flags like a pro. There are also the down-and-out racers like Sonny from the local reservation who lack the funds to really be taken seriously by the other competitors. Even the ever present threat of bad weather becomes a player in the non-stop action at the track. Each plays a part in the Saturday night excitement and helps make the story a real page-turner.
SATURDAY NIGHT DIRT is billed on the cover as "A Motor Novel." Hopefully, that means it is the first of many more. Weaver's book is especially excellent for reluctant guy readers, even if they don't have a special interest in the sport of dirt track racing.