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Fiction Ages 10+
Pages: 168
Themes: snowboarding, friendship, loyalty, courage
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/05/2011
Lexile Level: HL540L
Fry Reading Level: 2.8
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Alex's goal in life is simple: to snowboard all day, every day. His ultimate dream is to be part of the Backcountry Patrol, an elite group of snowboarders who patrol the ungroomed slopes of British Columbia. But first, he and three other young hopefuls (Dave, Bryce and Hope) must endure a series of tests, which takes them to remote and dangerous terrain. When Bryce disappears, the teens are left with Sam, their dubiously qualified instructor, and no links to the outside world. As Alex and Hope scramble to find out what happened to Bryce, they must confront their own fears of the whiteout conditions and the ominous, mysterious drop.

BookLinx - January 30, 2012
"Full of action, mystery, adventure and a bit of romance...Perfect for reluctant readers who are petrified of long novels."
School Library Journal - August 1, 2011
"Setting and snowboarding are the stars in this novel: mountain conditions and scenery are vividly described, from dangerous weather to spectacular vistas. Readers need not be regular snowboarders to appreciate the extended descriptions of the sport: they will feel the exhilaration of every turn and jump. The writing is crisp, and the plot moves along quickly. The audience for this book will not likely mind that character descriptions and relationships take a backseat to the action. Give this one to reluctant readers who like sports adventure stories that move at a downhill pace."
Booklist - July 1, 2011
"Chock-full of snowboarding action...A snowboarder himself, Ross keeps characters and their interrelationships sketchy and simple, cranks up the pacing and suspense, and finishes off with confessions that neatly tie up all the loose ends...The jargon is nearly nonexistent, so even below-grade readers and those who are hazy on winter sports will slalom smoothly through the adventure."
Resource Links - June 1, 2011
"The descriptions of the cold and the snow are so realistic that this reader felt a chill, and the first-person accounts of snowboarding are very exciting...This is a story of following your dreams, and believing in yourself...This moral lesson is well camouflaged in an exciting story about snowboarding through the untamed wilderness, and makes for a great read. Highly recommended."

Awards

Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2011 | Commended
Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year  | 2012 | Commended

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