Desert Crossing

Desert Crossing

5.0 11
by Elise Broach
     
 

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There are some kinds of trouble you never see coming, like those thunderstorms that start from nothing at all. One minute the sky is bright blue and distant. Then, all of a sudden, it's dark and thick with clouds, pressing down right on top of you. The leaves turn silvery and twist in the wind, the air starts to hum, and the rain comes, so heavy and fast you can

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Overview

There are some kinds of trouble you never see coming, like those thunderstorms that start from nothing at all. One minute the sky is bright blue and distant. Then, all of a sudden, it's dark and thick with clouds, pressing down right on top of you. The leaves turn silvery and twist in the wind, the air starts to hum, and the rain comes, so heavy and fast you can't even see. You almost never make it to the house on time.

A dead body on the road—who is responsible and how will it affect the lives of three teens?

For fourteen-year-old Lucy Martinez, the moment when everything changes comes one night during a long car trip with her older brother and his friend Kit. They are on their way to visit Lucy's father for spring break, but never make it. While driving across northern New Mexico through a blinding rainstorm, their car hits something—an animal, they think. But when they backtrack, they find a dead body on the side of the road.

With amazing insight and compelling prose, Elise Broach charts a suspenseful journey full of danger, loss, and painful self-discovery. What will happen to the lives of three teenagers who can suddenly no longer pretend innocence?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Spring breaks are supposed to be full of excitement and fun! That is exactly what fifteen-year-old Lucy thought this road trip would be about. Lucy's break consisted of going to Phoenix to see her dad with her older brother, Jamie, and his best friend, Kit. Driving through New Mexico had something else in store for these three. When Jamie was driving (and drinking), he hit something. Assuming it was a coyote, they decided to stop the car and see. On the road was not a coyote--but a dead girl. Scrambling on what to do, Kit and Lucy head to a nearby house to get help while Jamie waits by the girl in the rain. Beth, an older adult, calls the cops and drives Lucy and Kit back to the spot where the accident happened. Their plans are derailed when they have to stay in town for the investigation. Meanwhile, Beth takes the three into her home. As she does, the events unfold and Jamie falls for Beth. As awkward as that might be, Kit and Lucy discover a bit of a romance too. Nevertheless, Lucy is fixated on the dead girl. She has to find out who she was; and what she does find may surprise you. Could they possibly end up in more trouble? Do they ever make it to Phoenix? Find out in this easy-to-read gripping prose. 2006, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 12 to 18.
—Kelly Grebinoski
VOYA
Fourteen-year-old Lucy Martinez is enduring a torturous road trip with her brother, Jaime, and his handsome but annoying friend Kit when their lives change in an instant. In a rare desert rainstorm, their car hits something. They do not know what they hit, but Lucy convinces her brother to investigate. The boys reassure her that it was no doubt a coyote, but as they backtrack they find a dead young woman on the side of the road. Could they have hit and killed her? Kit and Lucy drive to a nearby home to call the police, where they meet Beth, a woman whose life will become painfully intertwined with Jaime's. Upon the arrival of the police, they are pulled deeper every moment into life-changing decisions and events they never expected. This book blends several genres into a compelling, fast-moving tale. There are elements of true crime and forensics, romance, mystery, and self-discovery. The characters are realistic and the dialogue and situations ring true. There are some painfully beautiful turns of phrase invoked, as the characters are about to plunge into life changing events. Reluctant readers of both genders will find much to enjoy. The many moral dilemmas, bad decisions, and unexpected twists in the story keep the book moving at a steady pace toward a satisfying and cathartic conclusion. This book is strongly recommended for public and school libraries serving students age twelve and above. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Henry Holt, 288p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Sherrie Williams
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-From the dramatic opening scene, in which three teens driving across the New Mexico desert in a blinding rainstorm hit something on the highway and go back to investigate, to the satisfying conclusion, when they resume their overdue spring break, this book is a gripping page-turner. Fourteen-year-old Lucy Martinez, her 18-year-old brother Jamie, and Jamie's friend Kit are on the way from their Kansas home to spend their vacation with the siblings' father in Phoenix when the accident occurs. Expecting to see a dead animal on the road, they are horrified to find a dead girl close to their own age. The nearest resident is Beth, a middle-aged, somewhat reclusive artist who summons the local sheriff and allows Lucy and Kit to stay at her house while Jamie, the driver, is taken into custody. As the investigation progresses, they learn that the girl was clearly dead before being placed on the road. Although the teens are now free to go, Lucy is determined to stay and try to discover more about the victim. She insists that Kit accompany her on a wild and eventually dangerous journey in pursuit of clues leading to a local man whom she becomes convinced is the killer. Although at this point the plot becomes somewhat improbable and filled with convenient coincidences, readers are so caught up in the story that suspension of disbelief is easy to achieve. Subplots involve a mild romance between Lucy and Kit and a more intense and far-more-troubling one between Jamie and Beth. A great choice for booktalking to middle and high school students.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Three teens move from innocence to experience when their spring break takes an unexpected detour crossing the New Mexico desert. Fifteen-year-old Lucy is fed up with her older brother Jamie and his best friend Kit because they ignore her and flirt with every waitress between Kansas City and Phoenix. But everything changes when their car hits something on the highway during a nighttime cloudburst. Instead of finding an injured coyote, they are stunned to discover the body of a dead girl lying beside the highway. Forced to stay in the area while police investigate the unidentified girl's death, Jamie becomes involved with an older local woman and a bewildered Lucy finds herself gravitating toward the irritating Kit. Obsessed with uncovering the identity of the mysterious dead girl, Lucy winds up on the trail of a strange man in a blue truck. Eventually, Lucy, Jamie and Kit resume their trip, having traveled much further than they ever imagined. Satisfying suspense and self-discovery in the desert. (Fiction. 12-18)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781406303681
Publisher:
Gardners Books
Publication date:
01/01/2007
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Elise Broach is the author of the acclaimed novel Shakespeare’s Secret, as well as several picture books. Ms. Broach did graduate work in history at Yale University. Her nonfiction research and writing projects have taken her to the deserts of the American Southwest several times. Ms. Broach lives with her husband and three children in Easton, Connecticut, where she writes, edits the library newsletter, and is active in town government.

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Desert Crossing 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking forwards and then blackness came with pain on me. I will never wake i thought as i slowly drifted to the earth. Never again.~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ever since i started reading elise broach books i just felt like i understood them,I stared reading shakespears secreat first,but then i started reading masterpiece and i just got conected
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
DESERT CROSSING is a teenage road trip gone wrong.

Lucy Martinez is headed cross country to her father's for spring break. She is in the backseat, her brother is driving, and his best friend is hogging "shotgun". They are driving through the desert of New Mexico on their way to Phoenix. It's dark and rainy, the guys have been drinking, and they hit something in the road. Lucy convinces her brother to turn around and check it out. When they retrace their path, they discover a dead girl.

Oh man, now what? The three teens are in shock. The nearest house is owned by an artist named Beth. She helps them out by dialing 911 and taking them in out of the rain. The police arrive and begin the investigation. Due to the presence of beer fumes in the car, Lucy's brother Jamie is hauled to jail for the night. Beth agrees to let Lucy and Kit stay the night at her house.

The teens are soon cleared of any wrong-doing when it's discovered that the girl died of a heart attack and was probably already dead when her body was left at the side of the road. Jamie is released from jail, and the three remain at the artist's house until the investigation is wrapped up. Meanwhile, Lucy can't sleep and believes she must help catch the person who left this girl on the side of the road.

DESERT CROSSING grabs the reader right from the start. Lucy's first-person narrative is real and honest. Many things complicate the teens' situation. Jamie is attracted to Beth the artist, Kit and Lucy begin a questionable relationship, and there are tense phone calls to update Lucy's parents. All are surrounded by questions about the dead girl, but Elise Broach keeps things flowing so smoothly, the pages seem to fly by.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book I think I have ever read I mean I read the book 5 times already and I just got it like 2 weeks ago. I can't let go of it. If your the type of person that likes murder, adventure, and romance all in one book you just have to read it......Elise Broach PLEASE write a sequele!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not stop reading this book. It was a mix of almost everything.I finished it in one night, 12:00 in the afternoon till' 4:00 in the morning hah with breaks of course even though i did'nt want to take any :D. Anyone who likes mystery,thriller, and a bit of romance should read this. I'm sure you'll love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, you could not stop reading it, you can't stop reading because you want to know what happens in the next chapter. I recommend this book to everyone. Probably one of the best books I've ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i reccomend it to everyone..I hope the story continues.
Guest More than 1 year ago
DESERT CROSSING is a teenage road trip gone wrong. Lucy Martinez is headed cross country to her father's for spring break. She is in the backseat, her brother is driving, and his best friend is hogging 'shotgun'. They are driving through the desert of New Mexico on their way to Phoenix. It's dark and rainy, the guys have been drinking, and they hit something in the road. Lucy convinces her brother to turn around and check it out. When they retrace their path, they discover a dead girl. Oh man, now what? The three teens are in shock. The nearest house is owned by an artist named Beth. She helps them out by dialing 911 and taking them in out of the rain. The police arrive and begin the investigation. Due to the presence of beer fumes in the car, Lucy's brother Jamie is hauled to jail for the night. Beth agrees to let Lucy and Kit stay the night at her house. The teens are soon cleared of any wrong-doing when it's discovered that the girl died of a heart attack and was probably already dead when her body was left at the side of the road. Jamie is released from jail, and the three remain at the artist's house until the investigation is wrapped up. Meanwhile, Lucy can't sleep and believes she must help catch the person who left this girl on the side of the road. DESERT CROSSING grabs the reader right from the start. Lucy's first-person narrative is real and honest. Many things complicate the teens' situation. Jamie is attracted to Beth the artist, Kit and Lucy begin a questionable relationship, and there are tense phone calls to update Lucy's parents. All are surrounded by questions about the dead girl, but Elise Broach keeps things flowing so smoothly, the pages seem to fly by. **Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka 'Readingjunky'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It was so awesome. I hope everyone reads it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVE this book. It was sooo real like. U could understand it all and I've never read anything like it before. It had a mystery part, it was a thriller, a romance and it was awsome.