From the author of the acclaimed bestseller Holes, winner of the Newbery Award and the National Book Award, comes a new middle-grade novel with universal appeal. Combining horror-movie suspense with the issues of friendship, bullying, and the possibility of ecological disaster, this novel will intrigue, surprise, and inspire readers and compel them to think twice about how they treat others as well as their environment.
 
Be careful. Your next step may be your last.

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.
 
In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.

Read by Kathleen McInerney with Mark Bramhall, Jesse Bernstein, Robertson Dean, Kimberly Farr, Stephen Hoye, John H. Mayer, Adenrele Ojo, Samantha Quan, Allyson Ryan, Bruce Turk, and Louis Sachar
A New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Georgia Children's Award and the Buckeye Children's Teen Book Award (Ohio)



"Grounded in well-rounded central characters, this compelling novel holds as much suspense as fuel for discussion.”—Booklist, Starred

"Fast-paced. An exciting story of school life, and bullies that becomes a quick meditation on the promise and dangers of modern science."—Kirkus Reviews

"This engaging eco-cautionary tale... will captivate readers while giving them plenty to think about."—School Library Journal

". . . vintage Sachar for the way it brings big ideas to everyday drama."—The Horn Book

"Sachar blends elements of mystery, suspense, and school-day life into a taut environmental cautionary tale."—Publishers Weekly

"An engrossing plot . . .a most entertaining ride . . . .Readers will devour this delightful book just as they did with HOLES. A unique story that keeps readers on their toes."—VOYA

"Sachar is a master at compact and unintimidating plotting; the school story unfolds with swift authenticity in its own right and then becomes tautly suspenseful."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

". . .lively narrative . . . snappy dialogue and plenty of action."—Shelf Awareness