Cody’s life is good – well it is if he is on his bike, otherwise life just keeps throwing him curve balls. Tormented regularly by a group of rugby bullies Cody finds solace on his mountain bike. It gives him the freedom to soar, to defy gravity and be at one with the world.
Right from the start we are on Cody’s side and as the action builds so too does our connection to Cody. He is a likable teen with good ethics which are tested as the novel moves along. He admires his older brother Zane for his bike skills and ability to outshine everyone else on the trails but at the same time he struggles with his brother’s off-the-rails antics which pull the family apart. The writing flows effortlessly making it very easy to be drawn in to Cody’s world of mountain biking.
“It’s about having the ability to fly. The sensation of it, you know, defying gravity by hitting something with speed.
It’s then about mixing it up, having a good time while you’re up there. Going faster and higher than before, or than other riders”.
This is a quality novel for teens based in the real world where brothers sometimes mess up. While many will enjoy this novel for its insight into mountain biking, others will enjoy it for it’s realistic characters and story of betrayal. I am not the sporty type at all, in fact my idea of sports is turning the pages of a good novel and these pages I turned easily, thoroughly enjoying the story and getting to know Cody and keeping my fingers crossed as he met each new challenge.
I especially like the glossary at the back of the book which explains some of the terminology of the sport.
Teaching the Novels of Gary Paulsen: Reading Comprehension and Discussion Questions * Graphic Organizers * Vocabulary Activities * Writing Prompts * Literary Response Projects
Book (Teaching Resources)
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