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24 Hours in Nowhere

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,297 ratings  ·  279 reviews
When you come from Nowhere, can you ever really make it anywhere? Author Dusti Bowling (Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus) returns to the desert to create a gripping story about friendship, hope, and finding the power we all have within ourselves.​
Welcome to Nowhere, Arizona, the least livable town in the United States. For Gus, a bright 13-year-old with drea
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Sterling Children's Books
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,297 ratings  ·  279 reviews

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Dusti Bowling
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I hope you all enjoy Gus and his friends' adventure in the Arizona desert!
Except for the nonplussed cover, that in no way reflects the FABULOUS page-turner that lies within, I REALLY, REALLY ENJOYED my 24 HOUR trip to NOWHERE.

Whether a middle schooler, or a fun-loving middle-ager like myself, this is a rip-roaring, spelunk sleuthing, bully busting, laugh snorting, action-revving, fun read!

Dusti Bowling, you are AMAZING! Fast becoming a favorite author.

FIVE ***** Couldn't Put it Down, Action/Mystery/Adventure Stars of Friendship and Bully-Busting Integrity . . . and
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is Dusti’s second book and just as good as Cactus. This time we follow Gus on a wild adventure into a dangerous cave searching for gold. He takes three helpers along who are all as different as day and night. Young readers will so enjoy this story!
Jarrett Lerner
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dusti Bowling has done it again. Like INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS, 24 HOURS IN NOWHERE is achingly real, seriously exciting, and every bit as hilarious as it is heartfelt. This story from Nowhere is sure to make kids EVERYWHERE feel stronger, braver, and less alone.
Lorie Barber
Wow. Just finished this unique story in which 13-year-old Gus embarks on an adventure to get his friend, Rossi’s dirt bike back after she loses it to save him from the town bully. Such an original premise - set in just 24 hours - yet it’s so much more than that.

Bowling, who created one of my favorite characters in Aven (Insignificant Events In the Life of a Cactus) writes incredible adventures and has such a unique way of creating characters with a mix of humor, struggle, and heroism. I loved G
Michele Knott
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dusti Bowling’s debut book is one of my favorite books. Loving the next book an author writes can be hard because I hold that other book up to such a high level. I’m thrilled that Dusti’s second book matched my expectations and what I love is that it had such a different feel than her first book. When I strip my analyzing down, yes, both books had characters with flaws that root for, but it was so different, the plot line so eloquently different, that I can love this book in a whole different wa ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you @kidlitexchange @dustibowling and @sterlingbooks for a free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Wow, this middle grade book was full of so much goodness from start to finish. First off, the setting is definitley a huge part of the story. The fictional town of Nowhere is based on a real town called Nothing in Arizona. It was easy to picture the surrounding dessert. I could feel the intense summer heat and I even googled cholla cactus so I could make sure to never cross pa
Kelly Peay
Bowling, Dusti. 24 Hours in Nowhere. (2018). Let me preface that when I picked this book up, I did not realize that it was by the same person who wrote the Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. I am now a fan of Dusti Bowling based off these two stories about middle schoolers.

24 Hours takes place in the Sonoran Desert, in the town of Nowhere, Arizona, the poorest town in the the state. The story is told by Gus, and we meet him as his face is being shoved into a cholla cactus by the town
Mid-Continent Public Library
In this cleverly written middle grade novel, a whole lot happens to Gus and his friends in just 24 hours. Ironically, they all live in a town called Nowhere. It all begins with a bully named Bo. Our hero (Gus) describes himself as a 13-year-old with the body of an 8-year-old and the brain of an 18-year-old. This book has it all: rumors of treasure, desert peril, wild animals, a dangerous mine, motorcycle racing and more. . . Many a chapter ends with a cliffhanger and catapults you onto the next ...more
Erin Downing
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, and even though Dusti Bowling’s second book has a very different plot, characters, and structure, it’s just as great! Characters to fall in love with, witty dialogue, fascinating setting, and a super-fun plot. ❤️
Shaye Miller
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss, arc, read-aloud
Loved it even more the second time through!! Because this time I read it with my kids. We laughed through this one and most days the kids kept begging, "Just one more chapter mom! PLEASE... just one more!" <3

Having LOVED Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, I was already looking forward to Dusti Bowling’s next book: 24 Hours in Nowhere. This is the story of Gus, a rather bright 13 year old who is stuck in Nowhere, Arizona. When his friend, Rossi Scott, gives up her beloved motorcycle t
Stephanie Elliot
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this super sweet book and when I finished I sighed and said, "Awwww!" 24 Hours in Nowhere is a wild west adventure for kids of all ages with a totally heartfelt message about where you come from not defining who you are. Rossi Scott is such a great role model for young readers -- she is strong, independent and can ride a motorcycle like no one's business. Gus is constantly picked on by big bully Bo, who is as cruel as they come -- shoving Gus into a cactus right on page one. Gus is ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-books
Captivation: to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence

Even though it's been 24 hours since I finished reading 24 Hours in Nowhere I can't stop thinking about it! Dusti Bowling created a strong, engaging story full of rich characters. Readers will be transported to the desert and won't want to leave their new friends. I know I'd like to go back and spend more than just one day with Gus, Rossi, Matthew, and Jessie! This is the perfect book for fans of stories lik
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a good book and has life lessons for everyone. Gus lives in Nowhere, Arizona, with his grandmother. He has one friend, and a few enemies. He also has a secret crush, Rossi. The teens must learn to work together to try to defeat the bully, while they navigate new friendships. I appreciate the author, Dusty Bowling, giving me the opportunity to be an early reader in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Clare Lund
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as Insignificant Events, but this adventure in the Arizona desert was a quick read, and touches on themes of bullying, personal insecurities, and standing up for what’s right. Ages 9 and up.
Many thanks to Edelweiss Plus and the publisher for providing me with an advance eARC of this for review. All opinions are my own.

This was so good everyone. Sooooooo good. I had really high hopes for it after reading and loving Bowling's first novel Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus and this completely exceeded them. I loved that while it is still a MG novel that focuses on the power of friendship and what happens when you stick up for yourself and your friends, this one was even mor
Alex  Baugh
Thirteen-year-old Gus is small for his age, but much smarter than most of his classmates. And he's hoping his good grades will be his ticket out of Nowhere, Arizona, a small boring, poverty-stricken trailer park town in the middle of, well, nowhere. Gus' size makes him an ideal target for bullying by the not-too-bright Bo Taylor; unfortunately, Gus' smarts don't always help him when it comes to Bo. Such is the case when Bo tries to force feed Gus with a Jumping Cholla cactus. Fortunately for Gus ...more
Taysir Yalaoui
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Don't read if you have not read the book. Also author (or whatever you want to be called by) please I'm begging you to read this! Plus I'm giving a great review up there on my star sheet and down here with my actual writing.XD (XD is a crossed eyed huge smiley face)

I loved pretty much all of 24 Hours In Nowhere. I know the back stories may be a little cheesy and stuff, but its cool. It could also very well happen in real life, like with Gus, and his dad feeling guilty not caring about him. :( It
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author and @kidlitexchange for sharing the copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Oh, my, when you read this book be ready to be transplanted into the middle of a southwestern desert. You will not only be surrounded by dust and wind and swirling tumbleweed, you will be sweltering in the sun and desperately craving cold water and air conditioned air. You will sense the feeling of hopelessness of 90 percent of the residents of Nowhere who would rather be anyplace els
Laurie Hnatiuk
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
@dustibowling has done it again and I know my students will love meeting and getting to know Gus, Rossi, Jessie and Matthew.
Gus lives in Nowhere Arizona where poverty and low academics reign high. Gus is the strongest student in Nowhere but is constantly at the mercy of a bully named Bo. When yet another incident of Bo tormenting Gus (this time trying to force Gus to eat a cacti)takes an unexpected turn which set the plot in motion. Rossi a loner dirt bike rider offers to give up her bike to Bo
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Highly recommended YA set in the lost desert landscape of Nowhere, Arizona where author Dusti Bowling sets out to remedy her hankering to write a good ol’ fashioned treasure hunt. Gus is not cut out to be the brawn of the middle school crowd. Brains, yes, but not the muscle. Yet, he can’t help himself get into it with Bo, the local trailer terrorist. Actually, most of them live in trailers or run down homes since Nowhere is exactly that—in the middle of nowhere I and nowhere people would want to ...more
Sarah Krajewski
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nowhere, Arizona is the type of place no one wants to live. It’s the poorest town in the country, and has the worst graduation rate. They do have dirt bike racing and an ostrich farm though! Gus lives there, and he wants out. He’s always worked really hard in school, in hopes of getting out of Nowhere for college. Well, that is, if he isn’t killed by Bo Taylor first. Bo is one of the biggest bullies in Nowhere, and Gus is used to being pummeled by him. One day, Gus sticks up for the best dirt bi ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bowling's sophomore effort is a winner that will booktalk itself and rarely reside on the shelves. Funny and with the sweetness of the Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, this book involves a trip into a dangerous mine, 4 kids who are all outsiders in one way or another, cave-ins, treasure and one heck of a dirt bike race!

A little bit of everything happens to the kids on their journey - perhaps a bit too much for belief - but I didn't care. The kids are all distinct personalities and e
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

“I was pretty sure Bo had broken my nose, but I stood back up and faced him....I spit blood on the ground like I was the toughest cowboy in a Western, when really I felt like I was going to throw up” (239).

This quote encapsulates Gus. He’s sweet and he’s a weenie. He’s so chivalrous, and yet he’s also awkward. This book is adorable and unique.

It’s perfect for middle school, too, because the themes are so age appropriate (poverty, bullying, changing friendships), but the book and chapt
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2019, bes19-20
SLJ's review compares this title to Holes, which initially irritated me. Sure, the setting is a hot dry desert and yeah, some kids have some problems. But the comparison really does hold up. Gus is a nice kid who hopes to get himself out of Nowhere, Arizona, by studying and working hard. After his friend Rossi gives up her bike to a bully, Gus ends up searching an abandoned mine with his friends to find a nugget of gold. An old family legend, the bonds of growing up poor in Nowhere, and the real ...more
Rachel Rooney
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, jf, 2019
A 2020-2021 Missouri Mark Twain Readers Award preliminary nominee (grades 4-6).

An ill-advised deal leads to four 7th graders sneaking out of their houses at night to try to find gold in the Dead Frenchman's Mine, a mine that is famous locally for all of the drunk explorers whose lives it has claimed. What makes them think they will be successful? Nothing. They have have to be, or the bully will win.

This was super fun! Dusti Bowling is 2 for 2 for me now. I feel like middle-grade fiction tends t
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was on my 6th grade son’s summer reading list, so we decided to read it together. All three of my children (13, 11, 8) thoroughly enjoyed listening as I read to them. Each chapter is one hour of the 24 hours of adventure the characters have in this book, which made for a very good flow. It is told in the first person by the main protagonist Gus, who turns out to be quite a hero. Set in the Arizona desert, it made me somewhat nostalgic for my western roots, even though we read it in the cool ...more
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Throughly enjoyed this fun adventure. Dusti understands kids, the pain of being different. In her books she deals with adoption, economic, physical disabilities, mental disabilities, abuse, as well as differing family dynamics. In each situation - you see the characters humanity, the deeper reasons for behavior - and she does it all on an age appropriate level.
I'm not a school teacher, but these books seem like great discussion books for kids and adults alike! Thank you Dusti, for your courage,
Laura Mossa
Thirteen year old Gus lives in Nowhere, Arizona, the least livable town in the United States. No one has it easy in Nowhere including Gus, Living with his grandma, money is tight and because of his small size, Gus is frequently bullied by Bo Taylor. Obsessed with words, Gus feels his only hope out of Nowhere is a high score on the SAT.

At the start of the novel, Gus is indebted to Rossi Scott who saves him from Bo’s torment in exchange for her treasured dirt bike. Feeling responsible, Gus agrees
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DUSTI BOWLING grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where, as her family will tell you, she always had her nose in a book. She released her first middle grade novel in 2017 and hasn't stopped writing since.

Dusti's books have won the Reading the West Award, the Sakura Medal, a Golden Kite Honor, the Silver Nautilus Award, and have been nominated for a Cybil and over twenty state awards. Her books are Jun

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