Cover image for The edge
The edge
Bo, Ben.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis, Minn. : Lerner Publications, 1999.

Physical Description:
138 pages ; 22 cm
A teenaged gang member accused of various crimes finds redemption working and snowboarding at a ski lodge in the mountains surrounding Canada's Glacier National Park.
Reading Level:
740 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.0 5.0 41120.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.5 9 Quiz: 21157 Guided reading level: NR.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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No one understands Declan. Not his mother or his father or his teachers. No one but maybe his new group of friends. After moving, Declan will do anything to fit in at his new school, even if it is illegal. When he and his new friends get caught, the consequences are tragic. Given a second chance that he is not sure that he wants, Declan is sent to work at a ski lodge in the Canadian Rockies. Though he is not locked up, he feels trapped and lonely, and learns that second chances aren't easy. While there, Declan learns to snowboard and meets new friends, but ghosts of his past keep rising up to haunt him. Standing on the edge, Declan realizes that the only way to break free is to face his past, and to look forward to the future.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-12. Social outcast Declan makes up for angering a local gang by accepting their skateboarding challenge. To his ironic misfortune, he wins, earning their respect and a place in the gang. Declan's first assignment turns tragic as the grocery store that he helps rob goes up in flames and everyone except him is killed. Instead of being shipped to juvenile hall, he is sent up a local mountain to learn responsibility from a wise, old Indian. In time, Declan finds courage by snowboarding down the dangerous Canadian Rockies. Apparently directing his book to male reluctant readers, Bo serves his audience well. With consistent action, not too much description, and little emphasis on theme, the novel is a swift, light read filled with drama and an intriguing tribal mystery. Although written by a British author and set in Canada, the book has a universal feel that makes it accessible to readers of any region. --Roger Leslie

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Declan, a new kid in town, craves acceptance from the UXT (Urban Xtreme Team). Their graffiti is inescapable and he is willing to scale dangerous heights to pass the group's initiation challenge. His membership is short-lived, however, as he is the sole survivor of a warehouse fire accidentally started by the charismatic leader, Jaz. Declan is sentenced to an experimental rehabilitation program, sending him from Vancouver to a ski lodge at Canada's Glacier National Park with the hope that the wise Big Foot, elderly great-grandson of a great Indian chief, will teach him to channel his restless spirit. The teen's talent at skateboarding makes him a natural to learn snowboarding. Battling his inner voices, he is attracted to his tutor Manu, the daughter of the lodge owner, but finds himself drawn into a duel with Mad Dog, the local snowboarding champion. While character development is minimal, the action is nonstop and compelling. Add this to a growing body of young adult literature that pits confused male adolescents against the majestic, but unforgiving forces of nature in battles for survival. Strong, but conflicted male characters and nail-biting precipices can also be found in Will Hobbs's The Maze (Morrow, 1998), Jackie Koller's The Falcon (Atheneum, 1998), and Louis Sachar's Holes (Farrar, 1998).-Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.