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96 Miles

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  329 ratings  ·  92 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 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  329 ratings  ·  92 reviews


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Ms. Yingling
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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. :)
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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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
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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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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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.
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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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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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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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
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!
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.
Christina
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Whoa...this book is something else and I mean that in the best possible way! J. L. Esplin’s 96 MILES had me exclaiming more than just “whoa,” but sometimes it wasn’t even a sound at all. I often found myself sitting with my mouth agape while reading this incredibly gripping survival/suspense/thriller story. Ninety-six miles is a very, very long way on foot and a lot can (and did—no spoilers here) happen in this fast-paced desert journey of two brothers who must demonstrate resiliency and resourc ...more
Amy Gebhardt
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! In the middle of a pandemic was not a good time emotionally to read this book. It made my anxiety even higher. BUT- wow. What an amazing story, amazing writing. I read this aloud to my daughter and we were both enthralled. We could have finished it in a day, we rationed it out like the Battle Born rationed their water. And... we have our work cut out for us as far as emergency preparations go.
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
Aoife
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020arc, 2020, 2020e
John and Stew are home alone while their father is out of town on business. So far, so normal. But it means he's missing when the biggest blackout is history hits, taking out power for the whole state and maybe beyond. Now John finds himself in charge of his recalcitrant brother and two tagalongs as they try to reach help in time.

I know a bit about survival tactics (armchair interest, I don't own survival gear or supplies, please don't raid my house) and I have to agree, on one topic, with minor
...more
LaNae
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One sign of a good book is one that keeps me turning pages long after the point at which my head should be hitting the pillow. This book checked a lot of boxes for me.
•Memorable first sentence & paragraph that immediately drew me into the story and made me laugh.
•Fresh take on the disaster trope
•Middle grade book with a broad appeal that assumes intelligence of the reader. In fact It’s in good company with some of my favorite books in that regard.
•Inspired by one of my favorite albums by The Ki
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Valerie McEnroe
In the opening chapter, brothers John and Stew are arguing over whether or not they should drink toilet water. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It's been days since the entire state of Nevada, and possibly a much larger area, lost all power. Residents are on edge as food, water, gasoline and other supplies dwindle. John and Stew's dad, a well known doomsday prepper, have left them well stocked, but when word gets around, a man shows up and steals their supplies at gunpoint. Since the ...more
SheReadsandWrites
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Mize
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Molly Cluff
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was enthralling (and definitely intense/scary!). Lots of fabulous gritty survival stress as two brothers trek across the desert during a statewide power outage. Don't hand this to sensitive readers if the concept of kids getting robbed at gunpoint is too scary for them! But man, I was super into this book. The last page leaves off on more of an edgy/vengeful note than I would have liked (though the guys who robbed them certainly deserved it), but I still enjoyed this from start to finish.

Th
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Tai Coutee
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 town, leaving his two sons to look after their home. Thank goodness they have nothing to worry about since their father was the on ...more
Nikki Hilton
Nov 17, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kylie
Jul 10, 2020 added it
Recommends it for: grades 5+
Recommended for grades 5+. Two brothers (John and Stewart) plus a sister-brother pair they meet on the road (Cleverly and Will) struggle to travel 96 miles through the desert with little food and water after an unspecified disaster causes power outages all over the Western U.S. Reminiscent of Dry by Neal Shusterman, but less intense and aimed at a younger audience. The danger comes from lack of resources, health failings, and a group of adults who rob and manipulate the kids for their resources. ...more
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