Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
For spring break, sixteen-year-old Maya travels from Vancouver to Palm Springs to visit her grandparents, soak up the sun and play some tennis. When they surprise her with tickets to the Indian Wells tennis tournament, she can't believe her luck. This is going to be the best vacation ever. But on the way back from the match they get into a fender bender. The other driver suggests they just square up and not involve the police or insurance companies. That seems odd to Maya, especially since the passenger of the other vehicle is visibly pregnant. But because Maya was driving, her grandfather is worried about repercussions and agrees to the deal. Later, Maya and her new friend Ruby discover that similar incidents have happened to others in her grandparents' gated community. They start to investigate, and when they spot the woman from the crash working in a clothing store, and clearly not pregnant, they know they are onto something.
About the author
Steven Barwin is a middle school teacher. He is the author of Hurricane Heat in the Orca Sport series and several Lorimer Sports Stories novels, including Fadeaway, Rock Dogs, SK8ER and Icebreaker, which was chosen as a Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens selection.
"Desert Slam is a quick, fast-paced read...the action and suspense sequences are written with a deft hand and can keep readers on the edge of their seats...An engaging book and will definitely appeal to girls who want an adventurous detective story with strong female characters."
"With a...quickly moving plot, Desert Slam is an excellent choice for students interested in tennis or solving crimes...The climax of the story is gripping and the characters are authentic."