by Will Hobbs
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Fourteen-year-old Rick Walker feels that his life is a maze. He's been bounced around from one foster family to another and is sent to a detention center for hard-core juvenile offenders after committing a petty offense. After he reports corruption at the facility, the boy is forced to flee for his life and ends up in an isolated part of Utah's canyon country, near an area called the Maze. Here he forms a friendship with Lon, a biologist who is trying to reintroduce condors into the wild. The two work together, observing and assisting the birds, and Lon teaches Rick to hang glide. When they run afoul of a pair of nasty antigovernment types who are hiding a cache of weapons in the area, their lives are placed in danger. Certain elements of the plot are pretty conventional, appearing in countless young adult novels (troubled teen runs away and finds redemption with wise friend in a remote area). What sets this book apart is the inclusion of fascinating details about the condors and hang gliding, especially the action-packed description of Rick's first solo flight above the canyons in the face of an approaching thunderstorm. Many young readers will find this an adventure story that they can't put down.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
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