Friday, August 31, 2018

24 Hours in Nowhere

38350847Bowling, Dusti. 24 Hours in Nowhere
September 4th 2018 by Sterling Children's Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Gus is a smart kid, and he's bound and determined to make it out of the arid wasteland of Nowhere, Arizona, go to college, and make something of himself. In the meantime, he's stuck in the least livable town in the US with his grandmother, and is being mercilessly bullied by Bo. When Bo seriously endangers Gus by sticking a cholla cactus in his face, Rossi comes to his rescue. Rossi is a fantastic dirt bike racer who usually beats Bo, so the only condition under which Bo will let Gus go is if Rossi gives him her bike. She does, and Gus knows there is no way he can repay her. He goes to Bo's house to confront him, and makes a deal that if he gives Bo gold from the Dead Frenchman's Mine, Rossi can have her bike back. Since the upcoming race in town is high stakes, Gus makes plans to go to the mine, even though many people have perished there in the past. He is joined by Matt, a henchman of Bo's, his friend Jessie (with whom he's had a falling out), and Rossi herself. The group is ill prepared for cave exploration, but do their best despite cave ins, mountain lions, group members getting injured and stuck in various places, and ragged tempers to make it out alive. Their ordeal isn't over yet-- they have to deliver the gold to Bo, who doesn't believe them, doesn't want to give back Rossi's bike, and doesn't play fair when he does. Will Rossi be able to compete for a new bike and chance to go to a bike camp after her eventful night?
Strengths: Bowling is a fantastic writer, and her Insignificant Events in the Life of the Cactus never made it back to the shelf in my library all year! She has a great sense of an exotic (to an Ohioan's eyes) place and fabulously funny scenes. I've quoted the line about the grandmother "planning on using old margarine and whipped topping tubs to battle zombies in the apocalypse" for days! Once the kids get into the cave, this is a great adventure book, and the cover is a great tribute to the art of  Edgar Alwin Payne and other Southwestern landscape artists of the early 20th century.
Weaknesses: The thing that I liked best about Insignificant Events was the overwhelming sense of optimism despite enormous challenges, and Gus' life was just... grim. I understand that that's a good way to encourage him to do something extraordinarily stupid, but I wish that Gus had some of Aven's optimism.
What I really think: I'll purchase this and recommend it heavily to readers who like survival books, but Bo was so very evil!
Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment