Imagine a Motocross race in a dystopian land and you've got David Hofmeyr's young adult science fiction novel Stone Rider.
In the story, we don't know how the Earth came to be a desert wasteland or how some people were chosen to live in Sky-Base and others were left to attempt survival back on the ground. Adam and his brother Frank are mediocre farmers, and Adam makes extra money doing other odd jobs. Adam wants to use that money to enter The Blackwater Trail, the same race that cost his brother his leg. At first, Adam doesn't have the courage to pay the entry fee, but a chance meeting with an outsider named Kane, fatal bullying from a group called the Scorpions, and Adam's love for the bike shop proprietress Sadie give Adam the incentive he needs to enter the race.
This is the first book of what will become a series, and one that I think will appeal to boys and girls. Boys will predominantly like the action, and girls will like the depth of story and hint of romance. The book is for ages 12 and up, but I think 14 and up might be a better age recommendation.
Stone Rider is published by Delacorte Press and hits bookstore shelves today! I received a free review copy at Book Expo America with no obligation to review.