The Maze - by Will Hobbs
"Your name's on the cigarettes". Crazy Kenny, the kid who eats glass, who's so messed up everyone leaves him alone, whispers this to Rick Walker at lunch.
That's torn it. Rick's life is over. If the corrupt guards at the detention center don't like someone, they offer a carton of cigarettes to any inmate willing beat that person up. Now it's Rick. He's still got months to go on his sentence. He'll never manage to survive. He's got to get away. But this jail was only meant to be a detour. A tough judge trying to get a Rick to sort himself out after Rick was caught throwing rocks at a stop sign. Now it's maze. If he busts out of jail, he's in serious trouble. He'll be a fugitive. On the run. No chance to start over. But if he's stays, he'll die.
Rick busts out and stows away in a truck stopped at a nearby gas station. When the truck stops, Rick finds himself in the middle of nowhere. A real maze of canyons and red rock spires in Utah. Lon Perigrino, a wildlife biologist is there studying (and trying to save the endangered giant condor. After a rocky start (Rick tries to steal his truck!), Lon takes Rick in. As Rick begins to help Lon in his work, he discovers a powerful identification with the endangered birds. For a little while, like them, he feels free and safe in the wild canyons.
But what neither knows is that Lon's condors are in the way of powerful criminal interests. Killing off an endangered species and murdering a nutty biologist isn't going to bother them at all. It's another dead end in the maze that Rick's life has become. To save Lou, to save the condors, he'll have to sacrifice his freedom, and maybe his life.
Kirsten Edwards, King County Library System
Last Updated: January 15, 2008