Before I get to my featured review let me pause to celebrate. This past weekend was my 6th year blogging anniversary! I gave all the details in last Friday’s post. What better way to put a shiny bow on the celebration than a giveaway. Three lucky people will each receive a copy of 24 Hours In Nowhere and your choice of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card (You can use it a B & N store near you or online) or a $25 Amazon gift card. All are welcome to partake from those who have been with me since the beginning to the few who stumbled across here by accident today. I hope you’ll decide to become a regular.

Enter by commenting below. You can receive a second entry by also commenting  on last Friday’s announcement. Good luck!

Last year the endearing and heartfelt, INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS, made it all the way to the finalist round for CYBILS. Author Dusti Bowling is back with another story set in Arizona. It’s a completely new tale with a different cast of great characters.

It was ironic to be reading this book last month while the cave crisis was going on in Thailand. Most of the story here is also set in a cave and it’s every bit as frightening. The town of Nowhere, Arizona is basically a place where dreams die. Thirteen-year-old Gus wants out and he knows college could be his ticket. That’s why he’s already studying words for the SAT.

When he goes to the defense of a girl, things take a turn for the worst—Bo arrives—one of the worst bullies to appear in a middle grade book in recent memory. What results from their confrontation is an agreement that sends Gus and three others into a cave. Each chapter becomes a new hour in their ordeal. They learn about each other, survival, and what friendship really means. For readers, it’s another hard to put down story.

PUBLICATION DATE: September, 2018   PAGE COUNT: 272

FULL PLOT (From Barnes & Noble)

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.



  1. Gus is an underdog type of kid who makes a perfect narrator. He’s reflective and funny and doesn’t back down to a challenge.
  2. It doesn’t matter if you live in a small or big town. Many of the character’s feelings  will resonate with young readers.
  3. Rossi is the only girl in the group and her mental toughness shines through. She’s a great role model.
  4. Gus periodically throws in one of his new vocabulary words. It’s his own thesaurus of life in the present and past. A unique way to provide even more intrigue to the plot.
  5. The adventure will for sure hook readers. Not only is their excessive heat but also bats, a mountain lion, and wild javelina to make things interesting.


Her first book, INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS, was chosen for the Youth One Book, One Denver reading program this summer.  Thousands of children 9-13 were given a free copy of the book and shared their experiences with the author during her visit last month.


Make a comment if you have time. You might be a winner this week. Click on the comments link below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Giveaways, Middle Grade Book Reviews, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 24 HOURS IN NOWHERE

  1. Oh, this one sounds terrific. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the post.

  2. Bibi Belford says:

    I loved Insignificant Events. Can’t ewait to read this one!

  3. This sounds like a powerful plot and an interesting cast of characters! I also want to read the author’s first book, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. I like the sound of Gus’s personality and his ambition/motivation to attend college is admirable. Thank you for sharing these two titles with us for MMGM.

  4. Wow, this sounds like a great story about survival in a cave. I imagine teamwork helped them find their way out. Gives me shivers thinking of what was inside. Bo reminds me of Buff in Back to the Future. This is a great adventure.

  5. Danielle Hammelef says:

    This is definitely a must read middle grade book for me. I am reading a survival story right now and enjoy the high tension and stakes in these books.

  6. Pingback: The 2018 GOLDEN CUP AWARDS | Always in the Middle…

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