Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Meet Arlo Santiago, ace dirt biker and world class video gamer, at home amid New Mexico mesas, ranch lands, and small town environs. As Arlo grapples with his mother’s untimely death, a father who is adrift, and a younger sister fighting Huntington’s disease, opportunities open up, including an intriguing offer from the U.S. Air Force at White Sands. Wesselhoeft’s (Adios, Nirvana) lyrically propulsive prose and spot-on dialogue hurtle us through Arlo’s exploits and introspections, his turmoil and triumphs, giving us an intimate, teen’s-eye view. Wesselhoeft hits another YA novel clean out of the park. Ages 12-17

— From John


Seventeen-year-old Arlo Santiago lives for the “Drone Zone”—that free, joyful, anti-gravity feeling. He achieves the Zone with risky motorcycle stunts on New Mexico roads, or while playing his favorite video game, Drone Pilot. His gaming skills are so off-the-charts, he’s recruited by the U.S. Air Force to remotely operate real-life drones in Pakistan. How can he refuse the paycheck when his little sister’s health is at stake? This pull-no-punches novel soars, with poetic style, focus on friends and family, philosophical life-and-death musings, and vividly drawn setting of a land “at the intersection of mesa dust and tractor rust.”

About the Author

Conrad Wesselhoeft lives with his three children and a big, grinning poodle named Django, in West Seattle.

Praise For…

“Readers will worry, laugh and ultimately soar along with Arlo as he finds his way. Nuanced supporting characters and a vivid New Mexico landscape ground Arlo’s dilemma, creating a superbly well-balanced narrative.”—Kirkus, starred review

“A moving story about loss, love, and learning to let go.”—School Library Journal

“Wesselhoeft’s mesmerizing descriptions of Arlo’s New Mexico home...and giddy exhiliration when he’s riding his Yamaha bike...will keep readers in the thrill of the moment.”—Publishers Weekly

“Features both a supporting cast lit up with larger-than-life characters and a protagonist who loves flying recklessly close to the edge but makes right choices in the clutch.”—Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780544542617
ISBN-10: 0544542614
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 15th, 2015
Pages: 352
Language: English