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Go Big or Go Home
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Go Big or Go Home

4.3 33
by Will Hobbs

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A meteorite is hurtling toward the Black Hills of South Dakota. . . .

Brady Steele's love for all things extreme is given a boost when a fireball crashes through the roof of his house. It turns out that Brady's space rock is one of the rarest meteorites ever found. In fact, a professor from a nearby museum wants to study it in


A meteorite is hurtling toward the Black Hills of South Dakota. . . .

Brady Steele's love for all things extreme is given a boost when a fireball crashes through the roof of his house. It turns out that Brady's space rock is one of the rarest meteorites ever found. In fact, a professor from a nearby museum wants to study it in search of extraterrestrial bacteria, hoping to discover the first proof of life beyond Earth.

During a wild week of extreme bicycling, fishing, and caving, Brady discovers he's able to do strange and wonderful feats that shouldn't be possible. At the same time, he's developing some frightening symptoms. Could he be infected with long-dormant microbes from space? Is his meteorite a prize . . . or a menace?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Laura J. Brown
Brady Steele loves star gazing, but he never thought his hobby would save his life. He was at his bedroom window watching the beautiful night sky when he witnessed a natural light show. What he didn't know then was that a meteorite was headed straight for planet Earth. He heard something hit his roof and then in a flash something crashed through his ceiling and right through his bed, before it finally settled on the floor there. He knew right then and there that if he had been asleep in his bed, he would have been toast. Once the smoke cleared, Brady peered through the hole in his bed and discovered that part of the meteorite had hit his house. He turned on the television news to learn that the light show was caused by a meteorite shower that could be seen for miles, but that the meteorites would burn up in Earth's atmosphere not make it to the planet's surface. Brady knew better than that. He had lived to claim a meteorite, but surviving the impact was only the beginning of Brady's adventure. This book is exciting and a lot of fun. It is a must-read for those who love nature, the stars, and a challenge. Reviewer: Laura J. Brown
AGERANGE: Ages 12 to 15.

It’s lucky 14-year-old Brady is outside stargazing just at the moment when a meteorite crashes through the roof of his home in the Black Hills of South Dakota and lands right on his bed. When he and his cousin Quinn take the meteorite, which they name “Fred,” to a local professor, they learn it’s a rare rock from Mars. Even more exciting, it turns out to have bacteria on it: proof of extraterrestrial life. Brady and Quinn have always been into sports, the more extreme the better, but now Brady suddenly has almost superhuman speed and strength. He even vaults over a charging buffalo to save a small child, but then his super skills start to fade and he begins to experience numbness in his limbs. While the two boys are exploring a cave Brady almost falls into a pit, and then he finds himself unable to move, seemingly dead. Could Fred really be a threat to humanity? This fast-moving tale by an author known for exciting survival stories, like The Maze and Jackie’s Wild Seattle, is full of sports action, from basketball to biking and fishing. While the characters and plot are more sketched out than fully developed, the premise is intriguing and adventure fans will appreciate all the boys’ escapades. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 15.

Brady Steele considers himself extremely lucky when a burning chunk of meteor crashes through his roof and puts a hole in the middle of his bed. For one thing, he was not in the bed at the time. Now he has possession of what he later learns is an unprecedented scientific discovery-proof of life on Mars, albeit bacterial life. Brady and his cousin Quinn are true outdoorsmen living in the Black Hills of South Dakota. At some point along their day-long bike rides through the mountains, cave explorations, overnight fishing trips, and battling the Carver brothers and their dog next door, Brady realizes how his exposure to the meteor may have affected him physically, and that it could even kill him. Hobbs is in great form here, combining his love of the outdoors and extreme sports with the fantastic element of an invader from space. The slow revelation of how Brady's body is being transformed is mysterious and compelling-the pace moves along as swiftly as gliding on two wheels down the Iron Mountain Road into Keystone. The sense of place is powerful, with bits of lore about the region making the reader feel immersed in the story and its setting, and the characterizations are especially strong in Brady and Quinn-two teens the reader really wants to know. Reviewer: Laura Lehner-Ennis
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

School Library Journal

Gr 5-8- Setting is always central in Hobbs's books, and this time he's chosen the Black Hills of South Dakota as his backdrop. As fans would expect, he artfully weaves the human and natural history of the region into the story. As they might not expect, he amps up the outdoorsy action by tossing some sci-fi into the mix. Had Brady not been outside watching a meteor shower, he might not have lived to see his freshman year in high school. Dumbstruck, he watches as the entire horizon turns blue and a meteorite sails right through his roof, piercing the center of his mattress and wedging itself into his bedroom floor. The first person he calls is his slightly older and more athletic cousin Quinn, with whom he is close. When Quinn arrives, he can't help but notice that Brady now scorches him in every physical pursuit; he's suddenly much quicker and stronger-almost superhuman. Brady's been noticing-and wondering about-those changes too, and he knows that somehow they're linked to the meteorite. When the boys consult a scientist at a local museum, they find out that the rock comes from Mars and may contain long-dormant life-forms responsible for what is becoming Brady's increasingly troublesome transformation. His body, initially juiced by the Martian microbes, now seems to be quickly shutting down-just as he's become locked in a contest for possession of the meteorite with the twin brothers next door. Offering something to tantalize nearly every boyish taste, this title is a great choice for reluctant readers.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI

Kirkus Reviews
Extreme sports and extraterrestrial bacteria that thrive in extreme environments are the ingredients for Hobbs's latest adventure. A meteorite plunging through 14-year-old Brady's bed begins an exciting summer in South Dakota for Brady and his visiting cousin Quinn. Bike riding up and down the mountains, exploring an unknown cave, fishing for lake trout from a flimsy rubber boat and watching a full-size catapult hurl a discarded toilet bowl are all part of the action. The long-dormant extremophile bacteria from the meteorite revive to infect Brady. The first symptoms are positive-he can bike faster and longer than ever before. But soon he has disturbing episodes of total paralysis. On top of that, his long-time enemies, the Carver boys next door, get possession of the stone. The Black Hills setting is well drawn, including interesting details about the Crazy Horse Memorial, where Brady's father is a construction worker. With convincing, first-person narration, a fast pace and plenty of suspense, this is a welcome addition to Hobbs's extremely reader-pleasing work. (Fiction. 10-15)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Hobbs is in great form here...mysterious and compelling-the pace moves along swiftly...powerful.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Go Big or Go Home

Chapter One

The Intruder

There might be more unlikely ways to die, but I can't think of any.

It was late in the evening at the end of the first week of August. I was home alone and sitting on the edge of my bed, only seconds from crashing. I let out a huge yawn.

In a way, I owe my life to my watch. As I reached to take it off, I had the vague feeling that I was supposed to do something at a certain time.

Do what, Brady?

Then I remembered. I'd been checking out the Perseid meteor shower off and on since the middle of July, and this was the night it was going to peak. I threw open my window, swiveled outside onto the flat roof of our garage, and pulled up the lawn chair I keep out there.

The sky was inky black and blazing with stars, which is nothing unusual for the Black Hills of South Dakota. Most nights are cloud-free, and our dry mountain air makes for excellent stargazing. Living out of town helps, too—no lights.

I'd barely found where to look—in front of the Perseus constellation—when the first shooting star fell, then another, and another.

What a show. I could read my watch by starlight alone, and I started timing them. Five to seven a minute!

Mars was hovering just above the treetops, brighter than any star and twinkling bloody red. Mars hadn't passed this close to Earth in a couple hundred years.

Too bad Quinn is missing the show, I thought. My cousin lived forty miles north in the town of Lead, which rhymes with speed. On Quinn's block the streetlights make for lousy stargazing.

I'd been outsideawhile, long enough to feel the chill, and was about to crawl back inside and hit the sack. My dad might be getting home soon, but he wasn't expecting me to wait up.

All was quiet except the burbling of Spring Creek and a slight breeze in the pines. Nothing unusual was happening. Then, in a split second, something totally unusual was happening: the sky was changing from black to blue.

Horizon to horizon, the night sky was glowing a brilliant blue. My jaw was on the ground. Strange, beautiful, bizarre, eerie, weird, awesome . . . words can't begin to describe that light.

Then, suddenly, Boom! Boom! Two tremendous explosions rocked the sky, so powerful they rattled my bedroom window. What in the world?

I didn't know what to make of the blue light, but I wondered if the booms had come from the Crazy Horse Memorial five miles south, where they're carving a mountain into the biggest statue in the world. Lately my dad and his crew had been widening the gap between Crazy Horse's pointing arm and the mane of his warhorse. Saturday evenings in the summer, like this one, they do a night blast for the tourists. It's totally spectacular. From home we sometimes hear a muffled rumble, but nothing like this.

I didn't have time for another thought. All at once, a roar and a blinding fireball were coming down on me like a freight train strapped to a runaway skyrocket. I hit the deck, and as I did, Wham! Something crashed right into the house. From the earsplitting sound of it, I'd nearly got hit.

Blinking and stupefied, I got to my feet, amazed to discover I was among the living. The sky was black again and lit with stars. Except for the burbling creek, everything was dead quiet.

Meteorite? I wondered. Could that be possible?

I climbed back through the window into my bedroom. When I switched on the light, more strangeness awaited. My bed was littered with debris—bits of wood, chunks of plasterboard, shreds of asphalt shingle. My eyes went to the ceiling over my bed and found a ragged hole there, big as a softball.

I glanced back to my bed. The sheet was ripped open and scorched, right where I would have been lying. I stuck my fist into the hole and pushed it all the way through my foam mattress. Whatever had done this had punched a hole between two of the slats spanning my bed frame. I couldn't reach any farther, so I dropped to my knees and looked under the bed. And there it was, among splinters on the floor, unbelievably real. A meteorite!

Heart hammering, I sat on the edge of my bed with my prize in one palm and then the other. The space rock looked like a baked potato, all burned shiny, but with rougher edges, pits, and sparkles. It was heavy, and almost too hot to handle, as well it might be after blazing a fiery hole through the atmosphere. We'd been hit by an intruder from outer space! I couldn't think of anything cooler that had happened in my entire life.

I grabbed my cell and punched in Quinn's number.

Go Big or Go Home. Copyright © by Will Hobbs. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Will Hobbs is the award-winning author of nineteen novels, including Far North, Crossing the Wire, and Take Me to the River.

Never Say Die began with the author's eleven-day raft trip in 2003 down the Firth River on the north slope of Canada's Yukon Territory. Ever since, Will has been closely following what scientists and Native hunters are reporting about climate change in the Arctic. When the first grolar bear turned up in the Canadian Arctic, he began to imagine one in a story set on the Firth River.

A graduate of Stanford University, Will lives with his wife, Jean, in Durango, Colorado.

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Go Big or Go Home 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book for kids and has a ggreat story to it i highly recomend it
MZC More than 1 year ago
Brady Steele is an ordinary sports loving teenage boy living in the Black Hills of South Dakota, just a few miles away from the Crazy Horse Memorial. Thrill loving Brady Steele is in for the adventure of a lifetime when a meteor strikes his house... The sky is as black as ink with ribbons of color flashing across the open air as Brady Steele watches the wonder. The Perseid Meteor Shower is a natural sight in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Then suddenly, BOOM! Explosions are set off all the time to carve the Crazy Horse Memorial, but no, this was different. The sky was changing from black to blue! Brady's bedroom is soon littered with debris as a meteorite crashes into his house. As Brady and his cousin Quinn handle the meteorite, they learn that it is a balsamic shergottite. One of the 34 meteorites from Mars that have ever hit Earth. They name the meteorite Fred for Far Roving Earth Diver. However exciting this may seem, Brady starts to show some frightening symptoms. His reflexes are greatly heightened but his body is experiencing times of paralysis. Some research from a professor shows that Fred is not what it seems and can propel scientific research, or destroy life as we know it... Go Big or Go Home, written by Will Hobbs is an exciting book that manages to contain sports and science in a unique way. The book combines all of the sports that a teenage boy can do and includes accurate information teaching you about astronomy. As Brady's symptoms develop, the scenes in the book will have you turning the pages over and over again, until you reach the momentous and somewhat frightening climax. Read the book for more... However, I thought the rising action leading up to the climax was a little slow. The book shifts between sports and science way too much. First the meteorite crashes into Brady's house, then Brady and Quinn are outside playing basketball. Afterward, they learn about balsamic shergottites from a professor then go mountain biking and fishing. Any non-sports fan would get bored easily. Even so, the book is well balanced between the two topics. Overall I liked the book very much even though I got bored at some parts. Although I am not a fan of sports books, intertwining sports and science keeps you from getting bored with hard facts, and keeps the non-sports fan from abandoning the book. The astronomy will propel the science fan to keep reading and the sports will propel the sports fans to keep reading until the end. This book would be excellent to check out or give to your kids. You'll learn some interesting facts while reading a fiction book. I recommend this book to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love this book i think this is the best book ever
thekidJC More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books ever!! I love the story line and polt. tell everyone you know to read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CaseyR More than 1 year ago
In Go Big or Go Home, Brady's life changes when a meteorite crashes through his roof. Little does he know that the little metoerite can cause a big problem later on. Within the book, you will meet a variety of characters. Among these characters are Brady Steele, his cousin Quinn, and the Carver boys who live next door to Brady. Once Brady and Quinn stumble upon the meteorite, it causes a little bit of curiosity. As Brady sleeps with the meteorite, his life is changing one drop of water at a time. Once Brady suddenly figures out abnormalities on his physical ability, they start to question the "mysterious power" of the meteorite. It turns out, this meteorite has given Brady extraordinary abilities in which no human has ever witnessed before. Of course, being careless, Brady loses the almighty meteorite in a lake in the midst of fishing. The competitive Carver boys stumble across the meteorite while searching the bottom lake bed. Once Brady figures this out, it goes on a thrilling competition between the rivals, dragging you in to the point where you do not want to stop reading. The twist and turns makes this Fictional Thriller a wonderful read, however the age level of read isn't for adults. Go Big or Go Home is a wonder read for the young kid who likes thrillers, and be prepared for the climax, in which will turn heads and keep you reading for more. -Review Written by Casey Rudd
mothman More than 1 year ago
Go big or go home It's an okay book. Well I think it is I would give it a three star. Because I was looking at the cover and I thought it would be about mountain bikes. And it was about a stupid metro. It has a little bit of mountain bikes in it but not as much as I wanted it to have. It was a short book. It was about a metro that gave this boy super powers. But they did ride bikes to wall*mart and to the lake to. And they went fishing. And the boy's dad rides a Harley with out a helmet. Because it gives him helmet hair.
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Its ok limited edition
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All i must say is WOW
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I love the exciting plot and the way that Will Hobbs keeps you intrieged. A must read!
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Connor Lynch More than 1 year ago
Come on! How can you not love a book where it starts with a meteorite crashing through a roof?
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AlissZ More than 1 year ago
After lots of procrastination, I finally finished reading Go Big or Go Home by Will Hobbs the other day. Other than wondering about how the title fitted the book in the first place, I also thought much about the ups and downs of the story. Yes, it was very interesting and yes, it makes a fun read, but there are some parts of the book I'm a little peeved about. In the beginning where a meteorite crashed into Brady's room, Will Hobbs did an excellent job at choosing words that really give a feel of what was happening. I found it a bit implausible for a meteorite to crash into one's home and not have the whole place burned up, but it's a fictional story, so what can I say? I also questioned Quinn's quick readiness to believe that a meteorite really did fall into Brady's room, let alone it didn't kill him. Sure, he has a thing for the extreme, but wouldn't even he inquire if this actually happened? When Brady and Quinn went fishing for lake trout, they got help from a man named Curly. The fellow seemed like an interesting character, so I wish Hobbs built upon him more. It was so abrupt. Suddenly a guy just took the two boys in, got them some fried chicken and worms, and then just disappeared from the rest of the book. One and a third chapters; that's it - it's all he got. Crystal, a girl working at a smoothie shop, is a little better off, but she still could've been more developed. I found her blander than Curly, but I'm sure she'd be a more intriguing character if Will Hobbs included her more. The accuracy of Brady's dreams is sort of uncanny. I'm guessing Will Hobbs was trying to put foreshadowing into the book, but it was still very strange. What he imagines almost certainly happens. For example, he dreams about exploring a cave and finding something interesting. After dreaming, he goes with Quinn into the cave and finds what they call the Palace of the Dead King. He also dreams about someone hooking the backpack containing Fred he dropped in the lake, and sure enough, it actually happened. Then there was the part of the dream where he was dormant, alive but not alive, with a man about to perform autopsy on him. He narrowly escaped that fate. It makes me wonder how his noggin knows what's about to happen. Peculiar, isn't it? Max and Buzz Carver, as Brady's rivals, are the antagonists in the book. The time when they managed to get hold of Fred was an interesting twist to the plot. That was one of the places where I really wanted to keep reading, so I did. The way they showed off their new catapult by flinging the meteorite in a contest to see who gets Fred in the end. Remember how I mentioned Brady going dormant? Well, this is how he goes inactive. Thankfully, he avoids getting cut open only because he had told Quinn about his dream earlier, and the Carvers and Quinn were relatively nearby because of the competition. Go Big or Go Home by Will Hobbs is an interesting book, but not very fitted to my taste. I was a little disappointed by the writing style. It was too easy and a bit repetitive for me. There were a few places where I felt the story was a bit cheesy. Although Barnes & Noble listed it as a book for young adults, it seemed like it was written for kids more in my little brother's age. However, it flowed well and the plot was pretty good, and I liked the idea of a meteorite giving super-strength. All in all it's still an okay book that would make for a fun read for the right kind of reader. Try it and see what you th
Anonymous More than 1 year ago