Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 3
- Reading age: 7 to 8
Ben Cheng used to live the good life — he had wealthy parents, lots of friends and respect as an online gamer. But when his parents separated, he had to move to a small apartment with his mom, his dad was out of the picture, and his new schoolmates started teasing him for his family's fall from grace. All Ben has left is his virtual life, where he still reigns supreme as an online driver.
Ben's life starts to spin out of control when he takes his mom's car out for a joyride and gets caught. Then he's in even deeper trouble when his mom finds out he has charged expensive upgrades for his online car on her credit card without permission. When Ben's dad secretly starts emailing him, Ben gets his hopes up that everything will return to the way it once was — he just has to loan his dad the money to get to Ben's big tournament coming up. It's not until Ben's dad is a no-show that he finally realizes the effect that his dad's gambling addiction and his own gaming addiction have on his family and his life.
About the author
Steven Sandor is a veteran and somewhat grumpy sports and music journalist. He spent seven years working with the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club. The former editor-in-chief of Edmonton's Vue Weekly, Steve is now a senior editor with 24 Hours in Toronto. His work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in Canada, the US, the UK, Hungary and the Czech Republic. He enjoys writing about sports that have goals—hockey and soccer. Steve enjoys spending as much time as he can with his wife and son, and making strange electronic music. He supports Arsenal. For more on Steve please visit www.stevensandor.com or read his blog at www.blog.canoe.ca/thefull90.
- Commended, Commended - Best Books for Kids & Teens - Canadian Children's Book Centre - 2020
"An excellent book for those reluctant readers who need a solid story and relatable characters." Rated E, Excellent
"Spin Out (and other stories in the series) would be a perfect read for teens wanting a narrative they can connect with...a great book for school and public library collections, not just classrooms."
"A solid, realistic reluctant reader title with an enticing video-game hook."