Cowan, Brad V. The Sinkhole (The Seven Stairs Crew #3)
September 26th 2014 by James Lorimer & Company
E ARC from Netgalley.com
In this third book in The Seven Stair Crew series (Street Kings is first)
Cale gets a letter from his long estranged father, and it leads him to investigate different skating venues around his small Canadian community. With his group of friends, Cale solves the puzzles in the letters and is able to go to places where his father had skated years before. The somewhat annoying Toby, who is enthusiastic about skating but doesn't do it very well, is trying to get into the group as well, but the requirements for doing so involve very tough skateboarding tricks. Cale manages to reconnect with his father's past and gets to know him through this activity.
Strengths: Lots of good skateboarding desciptions, and this book seemed less confusingly Canadian than most of the Lorimer SPorts books. I don't know why I don't have the first book in my library, but I'm certainly looking forward to having the whole series. Cowan writes skateboarding without all of the stereotypical themes and scenes, and so many of my students are interested in this topic!
Weaknesses: That he doesn't know anything about his father and that his father sends him this mystery strained MY credulity a bit, but I don't think students will be bothered.
What I really think: I think that Lorimer has done some extensive research into what students want to read (sports) and what teachers want to give them (issues). They must have a crack research and development team, and I for one am grateful. I wish there were something equivalent in the US.
Now if I could just get all of the middle grade writers to stop writing