cover image 24 Hours in Nowhere

24 Hours in Nowhere

Dusti Bowling. Sterling, $14.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4549-2924-6

A blend of taut suspense and laugh-out-loud humor from Bowling (Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus) proves a winning combination in this 24-hour escapade set in Nowhere, “the poorest town in Arizona.” Thirteen-year-old Gus wants to leave Nowhere for more than one reason, but high on the list is muscular bully Bo, “a mean, ugly giant with blond hair and pork-and-beans-sprinkled-with-chewing-tobacco breath.” When Bo tries to force Gus to eat a cactus, classmate Rossi saves the day by giving Bo her beloved dirt bike in exchange for Gus’s freedom. Gus is determined to get the bike back, but Bo demands a piece of gold from dangerous Dead Frenchman Mine as ransom. Accompanied by Rossi, childhood friend Jessie, and one of Bo’s minions, Gus embarks on the quest, uncovering secrets from the past and falling into many precarious situations, including a run-in with a mountain lion. With playful elements reminiscent of Richard Peck, this slightly larger-than-life adventure offers plentiful surprises and a lovable antihero. Ages 8–12. [em](Sept.) [/em]