Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Young Adult Fiction Survival Stories


by (author) Alex Van Tol

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2010
Survival Stories, General (see also headings under Family), Law & Crime
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    May 2012
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12
  • Reading age: 12 to 18


Jill took a job which sounded perfect for the summer, guiding tourists on trail rides in the beautiful mountains. She didn't realize that the money was terrible, the hours long and the coworkers insufferable. After a blow-up with her boss, she takes a single man into the mountains for a ride, only to find that he is a dangerous killer. When Jill fights back and manages to escape, she is in a desperate race to survive and make it to safety.

Also available in Spanish.

About the author

Alex Van Tol taught middle school for eight years, then made the switch to writing for a living. A writer of fiction and nonfiction for kids and teens, she has published over 10 books including Great Bear Rainforest: A Giant-Screen Adventure in the Land of the Spirit Bear with Ian McAllister and several titles in the Orca Currents, Soundings and Sports lines. Alex lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her family.


Alex Van Tol's profile page


  • Commended, TriState YA Review Group Book of Note
  • Commended, YALSA Quick Picks

Excerpt: Knifepoint (by (author) Alex Van Tol)

Suddenly my outrage dissolves, replaced by cold fear. It sticks in my throat. Darren takes a step toward me. I jump back, but he grabs my wrist and yanks me around, twisting my arm behind my back. Pain explodes in a series of flashing white and red lights. My body locks up with agony as my shoulder rotates toward the outer edge of its range of motion. I scream. What the hell is going on? How can this be happening to me?

I’ve never heard myself scream before. Not like this.

Editorial Reviews

"Thrilling and fast-paced…[Knifepoint] will appeal to those who struggle with reading…The Rocky Mountains setting is an inspired backdrop for the gripping suspense of this novel."

Resource Links

"I can't remember ever reacting to a book the way I did with Knifepoint; it was crazy to actually feel my heart beating through my chest. The story was so real; I can see how this novel could really help reluctant readers become interested in reading. It’s a very fast read, but well worth it! Four stars!"

"Nail-biting suspense, fast-paced adventure, and believable characters will pull even the most reluctant reader through to the end...Strongly recommended where action/adventure titles are needed."

Tri State YA Book Review Committee

"This quick read from the Orca Soundings series will keep teens riveted to the terror Jill feels."

Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media

"The story is fast moving, and reluctant readers will be on the edge of their seats as Jill tries to outrun—and outthink—her tormentor in this suspenseful page-turner."

The Horn Book Guide

"From the moment Jill and her sociopathic tourist head into the mountains until her final harrowing escape, the suspense is palpable. Both reluctant and avid readers who enjoy nail-biting tension will race through to find out whether or not Jill reaches safety."


"Reluctant readers will like this action-filled read."

Washington State Young Adult Review Group

Other titles by Alex Van Tol