Gravity Check

Jamie is determined that nothing—not even his annoyingly popular younger brother Seth—is going to spoil his fun at a mountain biking camp in the backcountry. Nothing but stumbling on a giant grow-op in the woods, that is. And watching their fellow campers get captured by violent drug dealers. And working with Seth to figure out a way to save them without getting caught themselves.

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Release Date: 2011

Awards:

  • Resource Links “The Year’s Best” 2011

Get the teacher’s guide for Gravity Check here. 

REVIEWS

Tacoma School District #10 – January 5, 2012
“This book has a highly engaging storyline mixed with descriptions of mountain biking that will appeal to boys.”

Booklist – September 1, 2011
“Plenty of sports action, just enough specialized jargon to provide flavor, and some character conflict…Climaxed by a melodramatic rescue from armed thugs, and then the arrival of a surprise villain (just ahead of the police), this quickly paced tale offers multiple “whoop-de-doos” (look it up) for Matt Christopher fans and older reluctant readers.”

Resource Links – April 1, 2011
“Can be summed up in one word: adventurous…A great book for reluctant readers, especially one who is into sports…Van Tol has a fantastic voice to appeal to a teen crowd.”

Bookvacations.wordpress.com – March 30, 2011
“Van Tol does it again with her newest novel, enticing the reader through mystery and suspense as the plot unfolds!…Jamie is a well-thought-out, quick thinking, teen that reacts to his situations with caution and gumption; all of the characters are balanced very well, adding to the chilling reality and believability of the story at hand…Concern and trepidation for the characters seized me as I read, and I highly recommend this novel for all readers 10+, regardless of reading level or interest in mountain biking. This phenomenal novel is a testament to Van Tol’s sheer writing genius. Five stars!”

CM Magazine – March 4, 2011
“Jamie is a solid character, and his actions and reactions throughout the book are quite believable…Van Tol does an excellent job of keeping the story advancing quickly while still allowing the reader to catch subtle nuances of character as each of the camper/bikers get to know one another….Gravity Check is very suitable for its audience, having been published for reluctant readers through “Orca Sports.” The reading level is simple and the plot compelling as well.”