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96 Miles

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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,220 ratings  ·  245 reviews
Dad always said if things get desperate, it’s okay to drink the water in the toilet. I never thought it would come to that. I thought I’d sooner die than let one drop of toilet water touch my lips. Yet here I am, kneeling before a porcelain throne, holding a tin mug for scooping in one hand, and my half-gallon canteen in the other.

The Lockwood brothers are supposed to be
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Starscape
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J.L. Esplin Hi, Good question! The main character is 13, and it's categorized as a middle grade novel, for ages 8 and up. I'd say it's an *upper* middle grade nov…moreHi, Good question! The main character is 13, and it's categorized as a middle grade novel, for ages 8 and up. I'd say it's an *upper* middle grade novel. (less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,220 ratings  ·  245 reviews


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Claude's Bookzone
Not too many comments for me to make about this middle-school book. However, I have a feeling that all the middle-schoolers I know might like a little bit more action in their survival stories. I liked the friendships that developed and the strength of the sibling relationships. Some rather tame ‘bad guys’ with a ‘dog eat dog’ attitude made a couple of appearances. They weren’t too scary which is appropriate for this text level.

A piece of advice for Readers. Just like when you are reading Neal
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Ms. B
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is good!! If you are looking for an adventure and survival story that is heavy on survival, this is for you.
After a power outage with no end in sight (it's day 21 at the start of the story), thirteen-year-old John and his eleven-year-old brother Stewart (view spoiler) hit the deserted roads of Nevada to walk 96 miles in hopes that family friends will have supplies to share. Can they make it on their own? Even though John is on 13,
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Darla
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A tale of two brothers filled with peril. The stakes are high and I was riveted as these two boys struggle to reach their goal. When you have a vehicle, 96 miles is easy. Try covering that distance on foot in the heat, on a deserted highway, with water from a toilet that has to be boiled. There is much more to their story, but I will leave you to discover that on your own. Ever trained for a marathon? You can start to imagine the mental anguish that these boys endure. As a runner, I could especi ...more
Najla
Apr 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Another YA for my list. 4.5 out of 5 stars. Apocalyptic storyline but more about two young brothers forced to rely on one another to walk 96 miles to safety. 96 miles may seem short in a car but imagine the struggle of walking that far with little water and little food. The author is a great storyteller.
Kristen
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I stayed up way too late to finish the book because I just had to know what happened. The author did a great job of adding surprises, keeping me in suspense, and creating very believable and relatable characters. There is no swearing in the book, no weird romance scence, so it would be a great book to recommend to any kid 10+ , but I as an adult enjoyed it as well. It left me wondering how well I've prepared myself and my family for an emergency. :) ...more
Ms. Yingling
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brennetta
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the characters and the revelations we found out along their journey. I wondered constantly if I would be able to walk one more step. And understood why the boys did what they did.

This was such an easy read with some deep moments and situations to ponder. I would recommend for any reader 8+ but it is written for the MS age
Yvonne Reynders
Aug 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
My 6th grader is reading this book with his LEAD class. I wanted to be able to help him if necessary, to know what he was reading, and it sounded like an intriguing story. My son's class theme for the year is Grit and Determination. This book was a great fit. The main characters and supporting sure had a lot of grit. This was a good survival, fiction read. A definite page turner. ...more
Jessie_Book
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I really wish there was more to the ending.

I almost want to give this book 2 stars just because of how deceiving it seems. I thought I would be reading a book about two brothers surviving in the desert, experiencing hardship and growing closer. But there is another pair of siblings involved that are not mentioned in the synopsis and the brothers hardly talk to each other throughout the book. Also the cover only has the brothers when a second pair of siblings has an equally big role in the story.
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Joy Lane
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal--more than 5 stars. I am so eager to recommend this. It is geared for middle school and up but I think ages 10 will eat this up! It is well paced, has fantastic dialogue, lots of heart and that appeals to reluctant readers. I especially like that it is set in rural Nevada.
Rebecca McPhedran
A Maine Student Book Award choice for 2021/2022.

When there is an extended blackout in the desolate parts of Nevada brothers;John and Stew must make a three day trek across the loneliest highway in Nevada to get help. With little food, and even less water they must overcome the odds to get to safety.

This is a fantastic book for readers who love adventure and survival stories. I could picture this book so well in my mind, I couldn’t stop turning the pages. A good read!
Jennifer
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read ebook. SUCH a great book. It has an apocalypse feel, but is middle grade so much lighter material. The strength of the two boys is just amazing, and the kids working together in this book is heart warming. Recommend!
Shaye Miller
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
First, I have to say that this was an especially interesting read to take on during the COVID-19 outbreak and social distancing. The Lockwood brothers, John and Stew, have been trained by their father to survive just about anything. They’ve stockpiled everything from generators to food to large tanks of water on their isolated Nevada ranch in the event of a long lasting emergency. And wouldn’t you know, the electricity goes out when they least expect it — right after their father heads out of to ...more
Kathie
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Don't miss this book if you have fans of middle grade survival fiction! I never have enough books to recommend for those kids asking for books like Hatchet, and I predict that I will rarely see this book on the shelves. It's mature and yet still a middle grade read, with lots of unexpected twists and a race against the clock.

John and Stew are at home alone when a power outage affects their area. Days pass, and their father still doesn't return. Although they are well-prepared for disasters, they
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Mid-Continent Public Library
A tale of two brothers filled with peril. The stakes are high and I was riveted as these two boys struggle to reach their goal. When you have a vehicle, 96 miles is easy. Try covering that distance on foot in the heat, on a deserted highway, with water from a toilet that has to be boiled. There is much more to their story, but I will leave you to discover that on your own. Ever trained for a marathon? You can start to imagine the mental anguish that these boys endure. As a runner, I could especi ...more
Palatine Library
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-reviews
When a massive blackout occurs two brothers must learn to survive with the little that they have and without parents. Follow them through the journey of how they survive walking 96 miles for help with little food, water, and supplies. Both brothers must survive the harsh conditions of walking in the desert for three days while finding friends who help them truly realize what it means to be self-reliant.

I thought this book was very well-done. The characters had such different, but intriguing pers
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Andrew Ulrich
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darcy Roar
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen, no-romance, kids
Excellent survival adventure novel! John & Stew are walking the 96 miles it takes to get to Brighton Ranch from their remote home in Nevada. The power's been out for 2 weeks & their Dad was out of town on a business trip when things went down. Things are not great to put it mildly.

I enjoyed the flashback stylings Esplin uses to keep showing us small snippets of Why John & Stew are having to make this journey & didn't see the ending coming until we were right up on it (eagle eyed viewers will no
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Melinda Brasher
Aug 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this: premise, execution, writing. It was all great. Characterization, plot, pacing…I really have nothing to critique.

I did wonder why it didn't occur to these desert-savvy kids to sleep under shelter during the hottest part of the day and walk all night. They were on a long straight highway, which would have been super easy to navigate in the dark. This would have conserved a lot of energy. More importantly, it would have conserved water in the form of sweat not lost.

That said, I was a
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Elizabeth
Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars for an exciting debut novel. A nationwide blackout occurs while two brothers, John and Stewart, are home alone while their father is out of town. Luckily they have been preparing for this their whole lives. Their dad is a prep master and has food and water stored up that will last for months. But all of that means nothing when it gets stolen. So John and Stewart set off on a 96 mile journey to a nearby family friend’s home. But they must do it all in three days, their lives depend on i ...more
Marcus P F2
Jan 17, 2022 rated it really liked it
John Lockwood navigates the challenges of surviving a journey lasting 96 miles, the decisions he makes impact himself and his survivor group. this story reflects upon the idea that the decisions you make are crucial and can either make or break you. When John leaves his brother in need of insulin to search for resources, John makes the correct decision as he manages to head back to his camp and bring the medicine, resulting in his brother living for another day.

When humanity is met with challen
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Jenny Hartfelder
I grabbed this book on my last trip to to the library because the cover was intriguing and the synopsis sounded interesting. Then I stuck it in the library basket and forgot about it. 🤷‍♀️

Three months later my library finally opens again (albeit limited fashion), and I begin gathering my books to be returned. I rediscover this book... And instead of returning it, I determine that I'm actually going to read it.

I crack it open at 11pm.
Really. Bad. Idea.
I close it sometime after 2am. 😂 #lifeofab
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Cheryl
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Two young brothers living on a remote ranch in Nevada must take care of themselves when the power goes out across the country (not an EMP but a long-lasting blackout). Their father is out-of-state when this happens so they truly are on their own.

Their father is a survivalist prepped but that doesn't help when the boys are robbed. They must now get themselves across hot, dry desert to hopefully find that help.

I enjoyed this disas
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Crystal
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great young adult book. Loved it! My 11 year old son read it before I did, and he loved it too. The characters are real, the adventure keeps you on edge the entire book, and it has some original twists that make it unique from other survival stories.
It was actually a little anxiety inducing to read especially reading it during a pandemic when emergency preparedness is a bit more on the mind than usual, but I don’t mean this in a bad way. I think some parts stressed me out because
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Mrs. Mazzola
4 kids, one container of water, and 96 miles to travel through the desert all the while hiding from the groups of desperate adults willing to hurt children to get what they need -- this is a fast-paced, nail-biting page turner that is sure to hook readers from the first chapter. The lack of available resources (like toiletries) during an emergency situation is sure to resonate with kids right now as well. The violence and language is best suited for a middle school, but could find a place with c ...more
Donna
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Fast paced adventure, survival story. Narrated by John, the two Lockwood boys set out on a journey to a family friend's house after there is a severe power outage. The trip is 96 miles across the Nevada desert and they have little food and water. John and Stew end up doing things they never thought they would do before - like drink toilet water. As they begin their trip, they meet up with a sibling duo who end up traveling with them as well as encountering some mean adults who steal all of their ...more
Summer
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Survival stories are some of my favorites and this one did not disappoint. The main characters are up against so many odds (lack of food, water, safety and 96 miles to travel alone in the desert) which makes this an intense, page-turning read. On top of that, I loved the aspect of brotherly love in this story. It was very moving and made me feel even more connected to the characters. I highly recommend!
Jennifer
Dec 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. Massive blackout. Preparedness. Survival. Looking out for your own versus helping a neighbor, and the desperation of surviving in uncertainty. There probably could have been a few more "action" sequences that would keep a younger reader engaged but I think this would be a great fit for a classroom read-aloud--plenty to discuss--or for a reluctant reader or for a modern take on a book like Hatchet. Ages 9 to 14 would enjoy, but also good for an adult who likes their apocaly ...more
Autumn
I enjoyed this survival-journey tale. The characters are realistic and well-written and I love a good journey story.
I would recommend this for 7th and up, only because 6th grade and below may be bored by it because not too much happens; there is a lot of walking and talking with some tension scattered throughout.
Jillian9479
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an easy and exciting read for a middle schooler!
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