Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 128
Themes: crime, cycling, mystery
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/10/2012
Fry Reading Level: 3.0
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Sam wants to win, no matter what it takes. Bicycle racing is his sport and he has a gift for it—but his attitude keeps getting in the way. After his teammates give up on him, Sam is offered a fresh opportunity. Viktor, an aging Olympic racer, will coach him and maybe give him what he needs to be a winner.

But there's a catch: Sam has to work as a bike courier at Viktor's company. The work is dangerous and intense, fighting traffic in the inner city to make deliveries at breakneck speeds. Then Sam is assigned by Viktor to the mysterious "dead run," delivering untraceable packages for an unknown client. Soon Sam is racing away from the law—and risks losing everything.

Canadian Children's Book News - August 1, 2013
"Rodman writes a fast paced story that grips the reader’s attention and deals with the issue of how far a person will go to see their dreams come true."
Library Media Connection - May 1, 2013
"The exciting twists and turns and no-fluff style is sure to appeal to male readers, although anyone interested in sports will find this book entertaining. This is the type of book that can quickly encourage a non-reader to actually enjoy reading."
TriState YA Book Review Committee - January 1, 2013
"Fast paced and full of suspense, this book is an excellent choice for reluctant readers. The characters are believable, and the gritty, urban setting realistic."
NJ Youth Services - December 5, 2012
"The action is swift and cinematic...should appeal to those readers wishing [for] fast and furious."
Booklist - November 1, 2012
"Features short, punchy sentences, brisk character development, and a touch of romance. The emphasis is on the thrill of bicycle racing and being a courier. Readers, particularly those who enjoy action novels, will like the fast pace and vivid descriptions, including scenes of Sam dodging perilous traffic."
CM Magazine - October 17, 2012
"A good, fast-paced introduction to two worlds (bicycle racing and bike couriers) that are rarely explored in fiction."
Resource Links - October 1, 2012
"Rodman has created characters and a situation that are both intriguing and yet believable....Not all tales of youth involvement in crime are so honest and yet so ultimately hopeful; Rodman has given us a story that is powerful and effective—I hope that all young teens have an opportunity to learn the lesson he gives us."

Awards

CCBC Best Books  | 2013 | Commended

Resources:

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Teen fiction
for reluctant readers

Key Features:

Short, high-interest novels

Contemporary stories

Compelling characters

Linear plots

Teaching Resources:

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Accelerated Reader
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Paperback $9.95

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