Dead Run

( 1 )

Overview

Sam wants to win, no matter what it takes. Bicycle racing is his sport and he has a gift for it--but his attitude keeps getting in the way. After his teammates give up on him, Sam is offered a fresh opportunity. Viktor, an aging Olympic racer, will coach him and maybe give him what he needs to be a winner. But there's a catch: Sam has to work as a bike courier at Viktor's company. The work is dangerous and intense, fighting traffic in the inner city to make deliveries at breakneck speeds. Then Sam is assigned by ...
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Dead Run

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Overview

Sam wants to win, no matter what it takes. Bicycle racing is his sport and he has a gift for it--but his attitude keeps getting in the way. After his teammates give up on him, Sam is offered a fresh opportunity. Viktor, an aging Olympic racer, will coach him and maybe give him what he needs to be a winner. But there's a catch: Sam has to work as a bike courier at Viktor's company. The work is dangerous and intense, fighting traffic in the inner city to make deliveries at breakneck speeds. Then Sam is assigned by Viktor to the mysterious "dead run," delivering untraceable packages for an unknown client. Soon Sam is racing away from the law--and risks losing everything.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Media Connection
"The exciting twists and turns and no-fluff style is sure to appeal to male readers, although anyone interested in sports will find this book entertaining. This is the type of book that can quickly encourage a non-reader to actually enjoy reading."
NJ Youth Services
"The action is swift and cinematic...should appeal to those readers wishing [for] fast and furious."
TriState YA Book Review Committee
"Fast paced and full of suspense, this book is an excellent choice for reluctant readers. The characters are believable, and the gritty, urban setting realistic."
Canadian Children's Book News
"Rodman writes a fast paced story that grips the reader’s attention and deals with the issue of how far a person will go to see their dreams come true."
Booklist
"Features short, punchy sentences, brisk character development, and a touch of romance. The emphasis is on the thrill of bicycle racing and being a courier. Readers, particularly those who enjoy action novels, will like the fast pace and vivid descriptions, including scenes of Sam dodging perilous traffic."
CM Magazine
"A good, fast-paced introduction to two worlds (bicycle racing and bike couriers) that are rarely explored in fiction."
Resource Links
"Rodman has created characters and a situation that are both intriguing and yet believable....Not all tales of youth involvement in crime are so honest and yet so ultimately hopeful; Rodman has given us a story that is powerful and effective—I hope that all young teens have an opportunity to learn the lesson he gives us."
Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
Bicycle racing is going to be Sam's way out. It has been tough since his mom left. His dad works the night shift and sleeps all day, or watches TV and bugs Sam to get a job. He does not understand that if Sam could get a little help, he could win races and bring in money. Then Sam meets Viktor, an aging Olympic gold medalist. Viktor is willing to coach Sam and give him a job at his courier service. There, Sam meets Robin, a girl whose toughness only makes her more attractive. When Sam's attitude makes Viktor want to quit the training sessions, Sam has to start doing mysterious dead runs, where packages are dropped in abandoned buildings after hours. Sam soon finds himself in danger, with both the police and the bad guys after him. Though the story is told in only 120 pages and at a third grade reading level; the character development and plot complexities expected from a young adult novel are present in this book. Sam is easy to care about. He has a rough exterior and an attitude problem, but it is understandable in his situation, and the softer boy inside is visible even when he pretends otherwise. His relationships with Viktor, Robin, and his dad reconcile too easily at the end of the book, but the fast pace of the plot up to that point makes the easing of the tension a welcome relief. The conclusion leaves room for the imperfections of life. While many teenage boys will find something to enjoy in this book, its simple language and brevity make it especially appropriate for reluctant or struggling older readers. Its cover and story fit the expectations of the age group without being condescending. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—These titles feature well-intentioned teens in tough situations. In Coming Clean, Rob's golden opportunity to pursue his passion for music leads to unintentional involvement with drug deals and the death of a friend due to an Ecstasy overdose. Dead Run focuses on Sam, who loves bike racing. His gig as a bicycle courier becomes more than he bargained for when his boss asks him to deliver secret packages to a sketchy location. In Shallow Grave, Elliot is wrongly accused of a prank and ends up cleaning an old boathouse with a female classmate as punishment. The spirit of a deceased teen speaks to them through a Ouija board, and they struggle to untangle her messages. All three protagonists are unquestionably good people; their choices are what get them in trouble. Brief, current, and fast paced, these books will be enjoyed by reluctant teen readers.—Amanda Moss Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459802445
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Series: Orca Soundings Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 688,375
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Rodman is the child of two anthropologists, who gave him a keen eye for observation and a bad case of wanderlust. His interest in writing for teenagers came out of working at schools around the world. For more information, visit www.srodman.com.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sam lives for cycling and thinks he has a chance of being a worl

    Sam lives for cycling and thinks he has a chance of being a world-class racer.  His attitude and lack of discipline always seem to get in the way, though, resulting in being kicked off his cycling team.  He meets Viktor, an aging Olympic cycling champion who agrees to train him as well as giving him a job as a bike courier.  When Viktor gives him special pickups to make, in unmarked packages from shady characters, Sam realizes there may be something illegal going on.  What choices will he make?  A somewhat similar situation arises in Carl Deuker's Runner.  The low reading level will appeal to struggling teen readers but also to those reading at grade level who want a quick, action-packed story.  

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