"Full of action, mystery, adventure and a bit of romance...Perfect for reluctant readers who are petrified of long novels."
"The descriptions of the cold and the snow are so realistic that this reader felt a chill, and the first-person accounts of snowboarding are very exciting...This is a story of following your dreams, and believing in yourself...This moral lesson is well camouflaged in an exciting story about snowboarding through the untamed wilderness, and makes for a great read. Highly recommended."
"Chock-full of snowboarding action...A snowboarder himself, Ross keeps characters and their interrelationships sketchy and simple, cranks up the pacing and suspense, and finishes off with confessions that neatly tie up all the loose ends...The jargon is nearly nonexistent, so even below-grade readers and those who are hazy on winter sports will slalom smoothly through the adventure."
Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
Alex's goal is to be part of the Backcountry Patrol, an elite group of snowboarders who patrol the ungroomed slopes of British Columbia in Canada. The journey to achieving this dream, however, is a dangerous one. He and fellow snowboarders Dave, Bryce, and Hope must complete a series of stringent tests over remote and dangerous snow-filled, mountainous terrain. This sports adventure story brings snowboarding to life for enthusiasts of the sport, or for those who are just learning about it. The author, an avid snowboarder, writes with an in-depth understanding of the sport. The pace of the story is fast and descriptions of the scenery and action put the reader on the mountainside for every turn and jump as the four follow their quest. There is even a mysterious kidnapping to further engage readers, as these intrepid snowboarders help solve the crime. This book is part of the "Orca Sports Series," books that combine mystery and adventure with team sports. Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Alex, Bryce, Hope, and Dave are in training to be Backcountry Patrollers, snowboarders who rescue people lost in the mountains of British Columbia. One night, Bryce disappears. When the group's teacher, snowboarding legend Sam, won't help look for him, the teens are on their own to find out what happened to their friend. Setting and snowboarding are the stars in this novel: mountain conditions and scenery are vividly described, from dangerous weather to spectacular vistas. Readers need not be regular snowboarders to appreciate the extended descriptions of the sport: they will feel the exhilaration of every turn and jump. The writing is crisp, and the plot moves along quickly. The audience for this book will not likely mind that character descriptions and relationships take a backseat to the action. Give this one to reluctant readers who like sports adventure stories that move at a downhill pace.—M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
Read an Excerpt
I caught an edge as I was about to pivot around a very large tree. I stumbled, righted myself and dug in hard on the back edge of my board, trying to turn. I wasn't really thinking about anything more than not hitting that tree.
The tree near Dead Man's Drop.