Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
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.
About the author
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
"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."
"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."
TriState YA Book Review Committee
"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."
"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."
Canadian Children's Book News
"The action is swift and cinematic...should appeal to those readers wishing [for] fast and furious."
NJ Youth Services
"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."
Library Media Connection
"A good, fast-paced introduction to two worlds (bicycle racing and bike couriers) that are rarely explored in fiction."