Sixteen-year-old Sadie Lester is not looking forward to summer at her Uncle Scout's house in a tiny Minnesota town, where her divorced parents have dumped her while they go on a research trip. Her priorities are finding a job and mountain biking, yet she is forced to babysit and handle an overcrowded house filled with relatives. When she meets Allie aka "AllieCat," an expert cyclist from the wrong side of the tracks who is full of fiery advice ("The only people who aren't chicken are a little stupid. You just gotta ride anyway. Ride through the chicken, you might say"), they team up and train for the Fourth of July race. While riding in the woods, Sadie, Allie, and Joe (Sadie's love interest) find a priest who's been beaten within an inch of his life, and, after sending for help, Allie disappears. Davis (Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged) constructs a succinct, compelling story that combines romance, suspense, and the theme of overcoming challenges. The strong sense of place, character development, and love triangle dynamics should engage cycling enthusiasts as well as a broader audience. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011 Release date: 02/01/2011 Genre: Children's
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