Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CYBILS REVIEW: Turn Left at the Cow by Lisa Bullard


ABOUT THE BOOK

Thirteen-year-old Trav has always wondered about his dead-before-he-was-born dad. But when he heads from California to his grandmother's house in rural Minnesota, hoping to learn about his past, he gets more than he bargained for.

It turns out his dad was involved in a bank robbery right before he mysteriously disappeared, and the loot from the take is still missing. Along with Kenny and Iz, the kids next door, Trav embarks on a search for the cash. But the trio’s adventure quickly turns dangerous when it becomes clear that someone else is looking for the money—someone who won’t give up without a fight!

REVIEW

When Travis arrives in rural Minnesota he quickly discovers that the answers he has long desired about his father may not give him the closure he seeks. It seems his father was involved in a bank robbery years ago but he disappeared and the money never recovered. His presence triggers renewed interest in the money, especially when some of it materializes and Travis is accused of spending it. With his new friends, Kenny and Iz, Travis determines to find the money and learn what really happened to his father.  But can he do it without endangering his family and friends? And what if his father really is still alive?

Strengths: Travis's voice provides a vivid and entertaining narration as readers follow him on his puzzling journey.  The setting and characters feel very real as did the emotions and choices that Travis must confront. He and his friends act as foolishly as one might expect teenagers to act. The plot follows a twisting path with an intense confrontation at the city dump at the climax. 

Weaknesses: I'm not a huge fan of teenage romance, especially twelve and thirteen-year-olds. I know that crushes are common, but they are so young to start kissing and such. However, this one isn't bad as far as that goes.



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