After a summer cooped up in his family’s store selling bait, tackle, and soft drinks to tourists, fourteen-year-old Chase finally gets a chance to go on his first solo geocaching adventure. Using his GPS, he uncovers the geocache—a small metal box—hidden deep in the woods in some undergrowth. Inside, with a few plastic army men and a log book, is a troubling message for help in a child’s handwriting. When Chase returns later, he finds another message in the geocache box, this time asking for food. He is curious ...
After a summer cooped up in his family’s store selling bait, tackle, and soft drinks to tourists, fourteen-year-old Chase finally gets a chance to go on his first solo geocaching adventure. Using his GPS, he uncovers the geocache—a small metal box—hidden deep in the woods in some undergrowth. Inside, with a few plastic army men and a log book, is a troubling message for help in a child’s handwriting. When Chase returns later, he finds another message in the geocache box, this time asking for food. He is curious —and worried—about the mysterious individuals leaving the messages. What if they are hopelessly lost or hiding from something—or someone? Before he can turn to the adults around him for help, Chase is pulled into a complex, dangerous drama and a chilling confrontation with an unstable father who will stop at nothing to hold on to his children. Young readers will learn all about the high-tech adventure game of geocaching in Katy Grant’s exciting novel that features heart-pounding action and surprising plot twists.
Chase is a reasonably intelligent and mature young man. A bit of a loner, Chase enjoys taking long bike rides to do some geocaching. Using his GPS and information found on the Internet, he hunts for strategically placed metal boxes that contain a note log and small trinkets left by other geocachers. Following geocaching guidelines, he updates the note log and swaps trinkets for something that he brought. Imagine his concern when he finds an uprooted geocaching box that contains a mysterious message. It almost seems as if someone is in danger and they left an unfinished note begging for help. Chase is determined to help even if he is uncertain how to proceed. He replies to the note and then stakes out the area. It is not long before two odd young boys appear. Chase quickly befriends these young boys and his journey to help them begins. This is an exciting story, and as the boys' secrets unravel, Chase puts himself into an increasingly dangerous situation. Will he be able to help them without getting hurt himself? Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—With his new GPS, 14-year-old Chase is eager to explore geocaching in the high foothills near his remote Arizona tourist town. Mountain biking to the site of a woodland geocache, he and his dog, Dexter, find a cryptic note that leads to an eventual encounter with two young, wary brothers. As Chase befriends the boys and learns of their hidden campsite and strange, reclusive father, he suspects this may be a case of parental kidnapping and searches the Internet for clues, successfully identifying the missing boys, then locating and contacting their hopeful mother. Chase's parents are divorced, yet amicable, and he feels loved both by his remarried mom and her husband, Rick, as well as by his dad, who lives in Phoenix. This family support affords Chase strength when he is knocked out and taken captive by the boys' suspicious father. But having told his family nothing about all his investigations, there is a coming-of-age lesson when Chase, relying on his own resources, narrowly escapes and must traverse the hazardous desert in the dark of night. Mystery and adventure propel this readable survival story that will hit the spot with Gary Paulsen's fans and may also entice reluctant readers.—Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Katy Grant is the author of Hide and Seek as well as the popular Summer Camp Secrets series for middle readers. She teaches college and university classes in writing and children’s literature and lives with her family in Arizona.