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Shift

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,381 Ratings  ·  452 Reviews
Some friends fade away....Others disappear.
Imagine you and your best friend head out West on a cross-country bike trek.
Imagine that the two of you get into a fight -- and stop riding together.
Imagine you reach Seattle, go back home, start college.
Imagine you think your former best friend does too.
Imagine he doesn't.
Imagine your world shifting....
Shift is a tour de forc
...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jenny When they tried camping the first night at a legitimate "campground" it turned out to be an RV park. The owner's husband referred to his wife and told…moreWhen they tried camping the first night at a legitimate "campground" it turned out to be an RV park. The owner's husband referred to his wife and told them "The lady wouldn't like that" when they asked if they could pitch a tent in the grass. He repeated it despite their offers to pay and assurances they wouldn't destroy anything until he finally chased them off. It became a joke for the rest of the trip and they never tried to camp at a "real campsite" again.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Hallie
Apr 10, 2012 Hallie rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I almost have a hard time believing that this was Bradbury's first book, when the second was Wrapped, which was a real let-down. Shift occasionally seemed a tiny bit unrealistic, with the two boys managing such emotional articulacy, but it was a great story well told. And - purely irrelevant but fun for me - one of my absolute favourite yarn companies is Beaverslide Dry Goods,, which is in Montana. I'd been looking at their colour cards dreaming of my next yarn order, and some of the names of co ...more
Bobby
Feb 26, 2009 Bobby rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clay
Jan 19, 2009 Clay rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Three and a half-stars. I liked this mystery/boy-finding-himself novel where college bound Chris's best friend Win vanishes on a summer cross country bike trip. Has a couple of stockish characters (the awful, overdetermined father and the FBI guy) and less would have been more in some of the weighty conversations toward the end, but I'll be looking for more from this author. Those in the book group: Could we talk about covers? This one sat in my pile too long because of the jacket. Didn't think ...more
The Loft
Shifting gears isn’t as easy at you’d think. Sometimes the chain catches; other times the incline proves more challenging than anticipated. In Jennifer Bradbury’s psychological mystery, it’s a bit of both, metaphorically speaking.

Best friends Chris and Win embark on a bike trek across the country, from West Virginia to the coast of Washington. At least that’s the plan. They have just graduated from high school and are eager to test themselves and explore the world. That seems to be what Chris is
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Aaron
Dec 30, 2008 Aaron rated it really liked it
Chris and his best friend have decided to use the summer after their high school graduation to ride cross country from Virginia to Seattle by bike. It is their last hurrah before they have to settle down with school.

In alternating chapters, you learn that things didn't turn out quite as they had expected as Win disappears during their extended bike ride. Chris has settled down at college only to be faced with accusations that at the very least he knows where Win is and even some suspicions that
...more
David Taylor
Mar 08, 2015 David Taylor rated it it was amazing
I finished reading the book Shift by Jennifer Bradbury about two teenage boys who take a trip on two wheels across the country just after graduating high school. This was going to be their last adventure before heading off to college. Chris and Win have planed their whole trip out going all the way from East Coast to West Coast on bike. Chris’s parents are very worried about him, while Win’s parents feel like it is a good idea. The two boys head out on the adventure of a lifetime. Unexpectedly C ...more
Hhslibrary
Apr 04, 2016 Hhslibrary rated it it was amazing
What a great read about friendship and growing up. Win and Chris have been best friends since 3rd grade. After graduating high school, the two set out to bike across country, from Atlanta to Seattle. Chris's story begins during his first week at college, and in addition to adjusting to that new life, he has to deal with an FBI agent who is asking a lot of questions about Win. Turns out, 3/4 through their epic trip, Win and Chris have a falling out of sorts and they separate. Chris continues to t ...more
Helen
Oct 15, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, with its combination of page-turning mystery, buddy story, and coming-of-age tale. I found the characters well-drawn and the dialogue authentic. Definitely an engaging read.
Bclement
Jul 31, 2009 Bclement rated it liked it
"On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this assignment nor have I presented someone else's work as my own."


I chose to read Shift by Jennifer Bradbury for my summer reading. Shiftis a coming of age novel about two best friends, Chris and Win, who take a cross country bike trip during the summer before college, starting in West Virginia and ending in Seatle where Win has an uncle. Chris and Win have been raised in two completely different atmospheres. Ch
...more
Lolene
Oct 03, 2012 Lolene rated it it was ok
I'm irritated with this book right now, so I shouldn't write a review. I just finished it, and I wanted to throw it across the room and maybe stomp on it just a little bit. This debut novel by Jennifer Bradbury is an award-winner, so who am I to give it only two stars? Because I'm wiser than all those critics who raved over it, evidently! It's too teen-angst ridden, too "I'm going to go on a long bike trip and find myself and define my relationship with my best friend who has jerks for parents a ...more
Tabitha Olson
May 09, 2010 Tabitha Olson rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
Apr 06, 2013 Erin rated it did not like it
I'm giving this one star and I think that might be too generous. This story featured underdeveloped characters who apparently were quite stupid.
The story centers around two friends who go on a bike ride across the country. They split up and only one comes back. Then after telling his parents and his friend's parents what happened he goes back to normal life until an FBI agent shows up to question him on his friends disappearance. Apparently his friend's parents think he killed his friend or som
...more
Becky
Dec 27, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it
It's yellow. There's a bicycle. The cover alone could never persuade me to pick this one up. Yet, I'm glad I did. Really glad. I enjoyed this one a great deal. I like the way this one is told. I like the story. I like the characters. I like satisfying nature of it all. She made me care. The story isn't traditionally told--it's revealed in bits and pieces. We'd have one chapter set in the present, the next chapter set in the past, etc. (This framework is a trend I'm seeing quite a bit of in my Cy ...more
Andy
Jun 19, 2011 Andy rated it it was ok
Not having read a review or the dust jacket, I dove right into this book. I saw it listed on a library teen list of some sort, it was available, and so I checked it out of my public library.

At first, I thought the main characters, Chris and Win, were girls with guy names. The way they talked and behaved did not seem guy-like to me, and I never shook that initial feeling for a majority of the book. It annoyed me but not enough that I wanted to put the book down. I like the idea of a present tense
...more
Smart_chic
Sep 18, 2010 Smart_chic rated it did not like it
Best friends Chris and Winston take a cross-country bicycle ride from West Virginia to Washington State the summer after high school graduation. What is supposed to be one last adventure before they leave for different colleges turns into a mystery when only Chris returns home.

Chapters alternate between recounting the events of the trip and the investigation into Winston's disappearance. Chris soon realizes he is the prime supect and must do everything he can to find his friend.

Shift is an easy
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Krista
Sep 28, 2013 Krista rated it really liked it
Among my favorite types of books are those about journeys. In this case, longtime high school buddies Chris and Win embark on a cross country bike trip during the summer after their senior year. Things get complicated when Win disappears by choice near the end of the journey. The narrative shifts between Chris's freshman year of college and the summer road trip, filling in the details of the dynamics of the friendship and the aftermath of Win's disappearance. We know fairly quickly where Win wen ...more
Alicia
Feb 23, 2010 Alicia rated it really liked it
This journey book was unique in that the journey is one of self-awareness, rebirth, and biking cross-country. Many would refer to this as a "boy book," but anyone can relate since the pressure Win feels from his parents and life isn't unique. So, Win and his friend Chris decide after their high school graduation to bike cross-country, but what Chris doesn't know is that Win has other plans-- plans that eventually lead the FBI to Chris' door.

A curt mystery wrapped up in a coming-of-age story and
...more
Hayden
Jul 08, 2008 Hayden rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, mystery, guy-book
This book is about these two dudes who graduate from high school and then spend the summer biking from West Virginia (where they live) out to Seattle. Along the way one of the dudes disappears, and his rich jerkbag dad sends a posse out to find him.

Meh. I really only enjoyed this book two stars' worth, but I think maybe it actually deserves 3. For a dudely book (or for any book really), it was pretty sappy. Actually, I might bump it up to four stars if I thought the author was TRYING to write a
...more
Ella Walker
Sep 03, 2013 Ella Walker rated it liked it
I think the book Shift by Jennifer Bradbury, is a great mix of mystery and realistic fiction. The main character Christopher Collins is an 18 year old ordinary boy, who's summer has just ended. A week before his entry into university, he is informed that his best friend since sixth grade Winston, with whom he spent all summer, has gone missing. Chris was also the last to have seen him. With the F.B.I questioning him, and school coming up, Chris is in a heigh state of anxiety.
I recommend this boo
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R 4Lite
Dec 11, 2015 R 4Lite rated it it was amazing
In her book, Shift (2008), Jennifer Bradbury takes the reader on an exciting adventure full of mystery and friendship. In the book, Win and Chris bike across the country the summer before their freshman year. When Win suddenly goes missing his dad hired investigators to help find Win. Throughout the book the author keeps us on the hook by flashing back and forth between the bike ride and two months later when Chris is in college and being harassed by an FBI agent, Mr Ward. Mr. Ward was hired bec ...more
Mpintal54
Dec 11, 2015 Mpintal54 rated it liked it
The book I read was “Shift” by Jennifer Bradbury. I found this to be an average book. I didn’t find it to be horrible but I didn’t think that it was the greatest book I have ever read. I found a few things that I enjoyed from the book and there were also a few things I disliked from the book. Let’s dive in on those reasons.
The book is about two best friends and they are taking on a cross country biking trip to the west coast. Despite me not being interested of cycling, I found that the premise
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Alys
Jul 22, 2015 Alys rated it it was amazing
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book: Young Adult

Estimate of age level of interest: Ages 13-17

Estimate of reading level: Someone said maybe Lexile 860 on a blog I found, but that's the best I could find.

Brief description: Two friends begin a cross country bike adventure together, but separate after a fight. Chris completes the journey alone, returns home and starts college. Chris believes that Win did the same, but not so much. The FBI is investigating Win's disappearance. Th
...more
Bethany
Jun 24, 2015 Bethany rated it it was amazing
"Now he was hurling gravel by the handful at a speed limit sign.
'It's trying to push me back!'
It seemed unwise to point out that he had been drafting behind me for the sixteen miles we'd managed since our lunch stop at the phantom post office.
'I'm not going back!' he screamed into the air, sounding like a four-year-old threatening not to go to school.
'The wind'll die down, Win,' I said, but he wasn't listening to me.
'I'm going to make it,' he shouted again, but with less vehemence.
Then I realize
...more
Amir Morgan
Jan 16, 2015 Amir Morgan rated it liked it
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury is a realistic fiction novel, with a twist of suspense and mystery. A story about two teenage best friends becoming young adults in the hope of going on their last trip for their last time together for a while before separating into two different colleges; they plan on doing a biking cross-country trip, they'd really like to go because they hadn't done anything fun like this. Or at least what they believed would be fun. The story is told in cycled random chapters, that ...more
Randy
Sep 20, 2014 Randy rated it it was amazing
First-time novelist Jennifer Bradbury mixes mystery and coming-of-age in this story of two best friends, Chris and Winston, who graduate from high school and set out on a cross-country bike trip. You learn right away that only Chris makes it back. And Win? Missing or dead, no one knows for sure.

Win's Bradbury does a masterful job at showing the eroding relationship of the two boys as the trip progresses. Winston is especially memorable; he's the one who's always saying outrageous things or pushi
...more
Dave.
May 09, 2014 Dave. rated it liked it
At first, this book felt like a captivating mystery. It was a real page-turner. That is, until you reach the ending of the book. For one, this book in the mystery genre, so your supposed to keep guessing where Win is, until you discover a surprising plot twist. But, the whole time you could figure he was alive, but there wasn't any slight evidence of where he was hiding until Chris, the main character, already figured it out. Not only that, but the ending was very unresolved. So Win's dad will ...more
Sarah Kron
Jun 13, 2016 Sarah Kron rated it it was amazing
Christopher Collins and his best friend, Winston, take a cross-country road trip on their bikes from their homes in West Virginia to Washington state...except Chris is the only one who makes it all the way to Pacific coast. This was a beautifully crafted adventure story that kept me on my toes from start to finish. I especially loved how the author's style was jumping back and forth between past and present in alternating chapters throughout the book. This led perfectly to the novel's close, whi ...more
Andrew Ma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Naseer Karim
Nov 19, 2014 Naseer Karim rated it it was amazing
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury was a very interesting book, dragged me in since page one. This book is about two teenagers going from high school to college at the end of the summer. They wanted to do something fun and be free at the same time. What they did was pedal there bikes across states for 2-3 months, to get to college.Over the time spent on the road they seen and met many people that were friendly towards them. Overall the trip was great until, you get to college and your best friend didn' ...more
Kim Lanza
Apr 01, 2013 Kim Lanza rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-ya
I met Jennifer Bradbury at a National Project event. I think it was the Inservice Institute in MA but am not certain. When I saw the book propped up on a display in our middle school library, the name clicked and I decided I had to read it. This was another binge-read!

It is an adventure story with a fresh twist and a bit of mystery. I would definitely recommend this to middle school students - - I think it would even work for fifth graders.

A good read!
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Final Book Review 2 10 Jan 05, 2014 04:17PM  
Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Book Discussion - Devin Davidson 1 7 Nov 15, 2013 06:57PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Shift 1 4 Mar 11, 2013 04:54PM  
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Jennifer Bradbury is an English teacher living in Burlington, Washington. She and her husband took a two-month long bicycling trek from Charleston, South Carolina, to Los Angeles, California for their honeymoon, changing more than fifty flat tires along the way. She was also a one-day winner of Jeopardy! Shift is her first novel.
More about Jennifer Bradbury...

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“Reality had a disappointing habit of not measuring up to my memories.” 11 likes
“Certain things between friends are said not because you don't know them, but because you need the other person just to say them.” 2 likes
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