Gus is a 13 year old living in Nowhere, Arizona, with big dreams of escaping his small town existence and making something of himself in the bigger world. Unfortunately for now that means getting through the next day with Bo Taylor making Gus’ life miserable. During one particularly terrible bullying session, Gus is saved by Rossi Scott, but at the price of Rossi’s prized dirt bike, and to make matters worse, her biggest race of the year is the next day. Gus promises to buy her bike back by sneaking into a goldmine and finding a gold nugget. Not willing to let him go alone, Gus is joined by Rossi herself, his friend Jessie, and Bo’s henchman Mathew. The next 24 hours may lead to riches or they may lead to ruin. Either way it’s going to be an adventure. Perfect for fans of Holes, Hatchet, and Spy School!
Recommended by Jenna— From Staff Favorites for October 2018
"Reminiscent of Louis Sachar's Holes with its quirky characters and unique desert setting, this is a middle-grade read that will easily transport readers somewhere special." --School Library Journal (Starred review)
When you come from Nowhere, can you ever really make it anywhere? Author Dusti Bowling (Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus) returns to the desert to create a gripping story about friendship, hope, and finding the power we all have within ourselves.
Welcome to Nowhere, Arizona, the least livable town in the United States. For Gus, a bright 13-year-old with dreams of getting out and going to college, life there is made even worse by Bo Taylor, Nowhere's biggest, baddest bully. When Bo tries to force Gus to eat a dangerously spiny cactus, Rossi Scott, one of the best racers in Nowhere, comes to his rescue--but in return she has to give Bo her prized dirt bike. Determined to buy it back, Gus agrees to go searching for gold in Dead Frenchman Mine, joined by his old friends Jessie Navarro and Matthew Dufort, and Rossi herself. As they hunt for treasure, narrowly surviving everything from cave-ins to mountain lions, they bond over shared stories of how hard life in Nowhere is--and they realize this adventure just may be their way out.
About the Author
Dusti Bowling holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Education, but eventually realized that her true passion was writing. The author of the IndieNext pick Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, she currently lives in with her husband, three daughters, one bobcat, a pack of coyotes, a couple of chuckwallas, several rattlesnakes, and a few herds of javelina.