Tacoma Public School District
"Suspense and vivid description of the waves make this a compelling read."
"Gives the reader an interesting introduction to surfing and surfing culture. The plot of the story is tight and well crafted...Recommended."
"Orca Sports books are excellent at engaging reluctant readers and Dawn Patrol is no exception. While I know absolutely nothing about surfing I found myself engrossed in the adventure...Very dramatic and intense."
Library Media Connection
"The story is packed with action and moves at a fast clip...A worthwhile addition for libraries needing more hi/lo titles and more sports titles."
Tri State YA Book Review Committee
"A good choice for both middle school and high school libraries. It's a fast read that is definitely going to entertain young readers who need a break from the demeands of school life."
Children's Literature - Jody Little
Luca and Esme travel to an island off the coast of Panama after receiving a strange email from their friend Kevin. Kevin's parents have recently died in a car crash, and Luca and Esme are worried about his mental state. Upon arriving on the island, a popular surfing destination, the teens meet Delgado, a local innkeeper, and Jose, who gives Luca and Esme a bad vibe. When Luca smashes into a coral reef while surfing, he believes it was Jose who cut him off and steered him toward the reef. While struggling to get away from the reef, Luca is certain he sees Kevin helping him to safety. Once on the sand, though, Kevin is nowhere to be found. As the search for Kevin continues, Luca and Esme discover that there is an unfinished hotel property on the island that was owned by Kevin's parents. When they discover that Kevin is on the island, they also discover the truth about Delgado and Jose and their plot to use Kevin to get his parent's property. This easy-to-read, sports-themed mystery is filled with detailed surfing scenes which may appeal to young surfers but may frustrate other readers who are anxious for the plot to move forward. Reviewer: Jody Little
School Library Journal
Gr 5–Up—When Kevin's parents die in a plane crash in Panama, everything turns upside down. One day, the teen disappears without warning, leaving only a cryptic note for his friends Luca and Esme. Determined to find him, they head to Panama to try and talk some sense into him. While catching waves and trying to locate him, Luca is nearly killed by Jose, a local surfer. As he's pulled from the water by another surfer, he swears he sees Kevin with Jose. As the clues about Kevin's family's past and his parents' deaths unfold, Luca can't help but wonder if his near-death encounter might be related to something more sinister. This suspenseful story has a lot of appeal for reluctant readers. The characters are well developed, and the plot is complex and intriguing, and has a good mix of humor, mystery, and adventure. Chapters are short, move fairly quickly, and are easy to follow. Readers who like sports, mystery, and adventure will enjoy this book.—Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY
Read an Excerpt
The water was choppy. I struggled to hold on. If I bailed, I was done for. The coming wave would suck me in and spit me out the back after it had raked me across the reef. No one would be pulling me out of the waves here. There might not be a lot of me left to even pull out.