March 21, 2014

Bike Theft Comes to YA Fiction

I have declared Patrick Symmes's long-form Outside piece "Who Pinched My Ride?" a classic of bike theft literature. I have written about a cinematic gem with bike theft at its center. Now, though, I bring news of a bike theft novel: Rita Feutl's Bike Thief (Orca, 2014).

The Edmondton Journal reports that Feutl wrote the book, geared toward young adult readers, after hearing about The Spoke, a program that not only teaches Edmonton teens to repair and maintain bikes, but gives each participant a bike upon completion of the six-week training. Herself a victim of bike theft and no stranger to the struggles that might lead a youth to take to the streets and perhaps fall in with the wrong crowd, Feutl challenged herself with this novel to get into the head of a juvenile offender. She narrates Bike Thief from the point of view of its protagonist, 16-year old Nick, who begins stealing and rebuilding bikes after his sister breaks the television in their foster home and he needs to pay to replace it.  

Comprised of short chapters themselves comprised of short sentences, the fast-paced Bike Thief will, The Edmondton Journal predicts, "appeal to kids who might not normally pick up a book."

Now one of my ulterior motives in starting BTB was to collect material for an eventual novel. Question is: Can I churn it out in time to catch Feutl's readers when they graduate from the YA stuff to fiction proper?

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