Shift by Jennifer Bradbury.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers: NY, 2008.

Bradbury's debut book is a whopper. It sucked me in from the very beginning and wouldn't let me go.

Orientation week, freshman year of college. An FBI agent starts firing questions at Chris. He assumes Chris knows what he is talking about. If he hadn't spent a couple months avoiding a certain possibility, he might have.

It all started with graduation. Biking in races for years, Chris and his best friend Winston consider the possibility of riding from West Virginia (home) to Seattle. When Chris's mom bugs him about getting a minimum wage job for the summer, the cross country trip becomes a reality, with Chris's father's blessing.

Win is being his usual irresponsible self: not collecting supplies, allowing Chris to do most of the packing and planning, borrowing money from Chris when he has plenty in the bank. Along the way, Win gets them into trouble and odd situations with his lying and fly-by-the-pants behavior. If he took time to consider, Chris would realize that Win is responsible for some awesome moments with people along the way. But also much stress. To top it off, near the end of the journey Win takes off, leaving as he is changing a flat, guaranteeing that Chris cannot catch him. There were clues that Win was planning a disappearance, but Chris was ready for the whole thing to be over. He finished the trip, headed back home, and prepared for college. He didn't call Win's parents, assuming Win would have done so. Instead, Chris is the last person to have seen Win, and Win's parents blame him. Enough to sick the FBI on him.

Bradbury's story is Chris's look back at the whole trying and empowering experience. Amid threats from Win's father, Chris sorts out the clues he ignored and attempts to find his friend. To save him, bring him back, or throttle him? Chris doesn't know.

Bradbury draws on her own biking experience to write a gripping and tantalizing mystery filled with personal and heart-warming details. It's a nice change to have the mystery not be regarding a murder. It's as much about the journey as the disappearance. A leap of growth for both young men.

related-bicycles and bicycling, travel, missing persons, best friends, friendship

RSS Add to Stumble It! Add to Technorati Favorites
Email Updates
Kickstart Reading/50+ Transitional Books
Horizons Transitional Books
Horizons Transitional Books
BookAdvice Crosswords
Follow minerva66 at Twitter
Knock Your Socks Off Challenge

Recent NTugo Network Posts

    ©2006-2016 Advice, banner, and coding help given by Redwall_hp. Established May 2006.