The Colossus of Roads (Paperback)
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From the author of the acclaimed The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle comes a tale of traffic jams, secret plans, and one eleven-year-old boy's determination to save his family's livelihood. Now available in paperback.
Rick Rusek's stomach has a lot to say. It's got opinions on tasty foods, not-so-tasty foods, and driving in traffic-jammed Los Angeles makes it roil, boil, gurgle, and howl. It's doing the best it can. It never meant to earn its owner the nickname Carsick Rick or make him change schools for fifth grade.
And Rick's stomach isn't the only one dealing with terrible traffic. His family's catering service, Smotch, is teetering on the verge of ruin after a rash of late deliveries and missed appointments. Fortunately, Rick has the solution. Unfortunately, no one wants to listen to a kid.
Absolutely certain that he could fix the constant, endless traffic snarls, Rick hatches a plan. But he'll need help from his unicorn-loving Girl Scout neighbor, a famous street artist, and the best driver in L.A. Together they'll take on the stream of stalled cars--and a secret conspiracy or two, too.
It's going to be tough, but Rick won't give up. If he can successfully move the 330,000 slow-moving cars standing in the way of his family's future, maybe everyone will see that he's not Carsick Rick. He's one of the seven wonders of Los Angeles.
About the Author
Christina Uss' first novel, The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle, was selected for the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, Maine Student Book Award list, Vermont's Dorothy Canfield Fisher list and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. It received starred reviews from Shelf Awareness, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publisher's Weekly. Christina lives in East Longmeadow MA.
★ "In this heartwarming, fast-paced story, Uss seamlessly weaves STEAM threads along with a dose of wit and humor to help readers focus on the importance of friendship, family, and second chances."—School Library Journal, Starred Review
★ "Readers with underappreciated talents of their own will be heartened by Uss' (The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle, 2018) ultimately unabashedly feel-good sophomore tale."—Booklist, Starred Review
★ "In The Colossus of Roads, Christina Uss (The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle) masterfully demonstrates the complications of living with a chronic illness, including missed opportunities, financial stressors and limited medical care. Not only does Uss depict a family struggling, she also shows how they make the best of a tough situation . . . colorful language, combined with quirky, memorable characters, like a bright-red Cadillac-driving Abuelita, round out a charming story about resilience and persistence."— Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
"Uss' slice of whimsy teleports readers to the smog-filled, congested streets of Los Angeles and give them a hearty appreciation for big, improbable ideas. . . . Colossally cool."—Kirkus Reviews
"a quintessentially Southern California story"—The Horn Book
Praise for The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle, by Christina Uss:
★ "An extraordinary pilgrimage featuring several fantastical characters and an unforgettable adventure to boot."—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
★ "'Pedal headfirst' into this terrific adventure."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ "The story elegantly blends elements of mystery, adventure, and fantasy."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A heartfelt celebration of the zen of cycling and a sympathetic portrait of an atypical kid who struggles to learn the art of friendship." —The Horn Book